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New campaign to boost workforce calls Grand Forks "cooler" place to be

A new campaign to bring workers to Grand Forks splits no hairs about the chilly North Dakota weather. With a wink at the city's icy winter, GrandForksiscooler.com touts the the region's selling points for workers weighing a move to the upper Midw...

A screenshot from GrandForksiscooler.com (Herald graphic)
A screenshot from GrandForksiscooler.com (Herald graphic)

A new campaign to bring workers to Grand Forks splits no hairs about the chilly North Dakota weather.

With a wink at the city's icy winter, GrandForksiscooler.com touts the the region's selling points for workers weighing a move to the upper Midwest, from parks to downtown concerts to resident safety.

And right on the homepage is the average January temperature: 6.7 degrees.

"Our fireplaces aren't for decoration," the website says.

The new page is the cornerstone of a workforce recruitment effort launched this week by a slew of local groups led by the local Economic Development Corporation. The goal, EDC leaders explained, is to create a resource for local employers to showcase Grand Forks to a valuable worker who might need some persuasion to make the move to North Dakota-especially given its reputation for remoteness and chilly weather.

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"Workforce in general is the number one challenge that employers have in the region ... The companies that we talk to tell us that," said Keith Lund, incoming president and CEO of the EDC. "In terms of those companies making a pitch as to why workers want to work for them, we needed to a toolkit for those employers to use to help make Grand Forks a part of their presentation."

Lund pointed out that the issue is pressing for the region as the area maintains a low unemployment rate. According to the North Dakota Workforce Intelligence Network, Grand Forks County had a 1.6 percent unemployment rate in May.

The EDC is the leading member of a coalition of local groups that all paid $10,000 to launch the program, including the city, county, local chamber, the convention and visitors bureau and UND. Besides the website, the program also includes a social media presence, and the EDC is expected to help purchase targeted advertising to help bring more workers to the area.

"Grand Forks, based on companies that have been here for some time and some of the companies in our region..we're competing for talent on a national scale," Lund said. "We need to make sure that the Grand Forks message, the Grand Forks theme, sort of value proposition is out there and can be leveraged by employers."

Related Topics: KEITH LUND
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