NORTHFORCE has partnered with Hibbing Community College in a collaborative effort to make local job placement for students a priority. A new Employment Opportunities page within HCC’s online Campus Services provides students with a portal to northforce.org.
“Visit northforce.org to find curated job and internship openings from across Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. Each post is reviewed and vetted by the NORTHFORCE team of local employment experts,” the new page explains.
The page also gives contact information for Stephanie Skraba, NORTHFORCE’s Greater Northeast Minnesota Development Consultant. Skraba coordinated the Hibbing Community College partnership and is the point person for Iron Range students seeking jobs and internships that will allow them to stay in the area after graduation.
“Every year, students are drawn to our beautiful region and choose to come here for their college years. Many would love to stay, and we are showing students the great possibilities within this region,” said Skraba.
NORTHFORCE candidates create a free profile indicating their skills and interests. The site then auto-matches them with the latest job openings in their chosen industry. Unlike many online employment resources, it’s free to sign up, search jobs, and post jobs on NORTHFORCE. Another factor that differentiates NORTHFORCE is its geographical focus. The site exclusively posts opportunities within seven counties of Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.
There’s also a human component: NORTHFORCE matching technology goes hand-in-hand with the NORTHFORCE team of local employment experts. NORTHFORCE’s two Development Consultants coordinate directly with regional employers and jobseekers who are interested in this area.
“This grassroots approach is proving to be much more sustainable than any other online option out there right now,” said Skraba.
Iron Range resident Anna Wald recently celebrated a NORTHFORCE success. She turned to NORTHFORCE for personalized job leads during her career search:
“Until I found NORTHFORCE through the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency at the Career Center in Virginia, Minnesota, I was getting no responses from MnWorks or Indeed,” said Wald. “Once I was on the NORTHFORCE site I began to get real leads for jobs relevant to me. Employers began to contact me for interviews.”
Within weeks of signing onto NORTHFORCE, Wald received an offer. In August, she started her new position as Welding Instructor at Mesabi Range College in Virginia, Minnesota.
Last summer, Iron Range employer Ellefson Off Highway connected with Skraba on-site at their headquarters in Iron, Minnesota. The specialty source for Caterpillar and Komatsu components was on the hunt for a new team member.
“We had been looking for the right person to fill a mechanic position and just weren’t having any luck,” said Elizabeth Draskovich, Ellefson Off Highway Business Manager. “Stephanie met with us and took the time to learn about our company and our hiring needs. About a month after our initial posting on northforce.org we received an application from and hired Matthew Peterson, a U.S. Air Force veteran and perfect fit for our shop.”
The partnership with Hibbing Community College is the latest in NORTHFORCE efforts to make the employment landscape of Northeast Minnesota more navigable for career seekers and regional employers alike.