Workforce Development

2018 Regional Workforce Solutions Series

The Northeast Minnesota and Duluth Workforce Development Boards, in collaboration with other regional partners, kicked off a Regional Workforce Solutions Series on February 13, 2018 at Clyde Iron Works in Duluth.  The purpose of the Workforce Solutions Series is to help businesses adapt to changes in labor force and declining availability of workers by providing tangible and proven practices related to recruitment and retention. The upcoming sessions are planned for April 18 focusing on recruitment strategies and May 16 on retention. 

Both sessions will help businesses adapt to changes in labor force and declining availability of workers by providing tangible solutions to employee recruitment and retention challenges.  Each session will feature key insights from a workforce development experts and a panel of business leaders representing companies from across the state and country who will share their best practices for recruiting and retaining employees.  Attendees will have an opportunity to interact with the presenters and panel members through facilitated Q&A and take away ideas that can be utilized within their own organizations.


APRIL 18, 2018:  Recruitment Strategies 

The Northeast Workforce Solutions Series kicked off in February with about 160 participants from Grand Rapids, Grand Marais, Hibbing and Duluth to engage in a workforce gap conversation. The State Demographer reported on the stagnant population dynamics and the need to look at new migration to move the needle of population growth and workforce diversification. Most recently, the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported that since January 2017, the northeast region had gained 6,200 jobs which employers are now challenged to fill at a time when job seekers hold the cards.  

As a follow up to that conversation, organizers with the City of Duluth, Duluth Workforce Development Board, the Northeast Minnesota Workforce Board, Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation along with several public and private partners are hosting the second series aimed at introducing innovative talent recruitment strategies planned for April 18 in Duluth and Chisholm, both sessions will feature the same speakers.

Event Details:

Morning Session in Duluth:   7:30-10:30 AM, program at 8 AM

Greysolon Ballroom, 231 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802 (parking ramp located at 301 E 1st St. with skywalk connection)


Afternoon Session:    12:30-3:30 PM, program at 1 PM

Minnesota Discovery Center, 1005 Discovery Drive, (Taconite Room) Chisholm, MN 55719


Advance registration is highly recommended to obtain the $20 per person rate using the following web links, same day/on site registration is $25/person (refreshments provided):


Chisholm location:

Duluth location:


The event is recommended for business owners, people in the human resource management field, or managers/supervisors seeking solutions and opportunities to network.

Featured keynote speaker is, Janice Urbanik,  Executive Director of Partners for a Competitive Workforce, who has worked extensively on developing the talent supply chains for the regional industry sectors in Cincinnati, Ohio. Additionally, participants will gain valuable insight from panelists who are attracting employees to their organizations in creative ways.  

The series is sponsored by: a grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, City of Duluth Workforce Development Board, Northeast Minnesota Workforce Development Board, University of Minnesota Center for Economic Development, Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training, the NORTHSPAN Group, APEX, NORTHFORCE, Duluth Seaway Port Authority, and Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, College of St. Scholastica, Duluth LISC, and the Head of the Lakes United Way.





At the Kick-off event, more than 150 attendees learned from industry experts and gained insight on workforce trends, challenges and solutions.  Featured speakers included Susan Brower, Minnesota State Demographer, and Gerry Hoeffner, President of Personnel Dynamics Consulting Group, who specializes in change management, corporate culture enhancement and employee development. 

PRESENTATIONS from February 13 are available for download: 

Susan Brower  and Gerry Hoeffner  



Event Sponsors:











City of Duluth Workforce Development Division
Paula Reed
402 West First Street
Duluth, MN 55802





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