Duluth, MN: The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) and The Northspan Group announced today that NORTHFORCE, an innovative regional talent initiative designed to connect prospective employees with businesses in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, has been recognized by the Economic Development Association of Minnesota (EDAM) as Economic Development Initiative of the Year. While APEX and The Northspan Group handle marketing and program administration, NORTHFORCE is a collaborative partnership with APEX, The Northspan Group, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB), the City of Duluth, Minnesota, the City of Superior, Wisconsin, the College of St. Scholastica, Minnesota Power and the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.
“Workforce is a top issue in economic development,” stated Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO. “NORTHFORCE not only helps identify skilled talent for our existing employers, it provides a solid base of available workforce information to support our recruiting efforts.”
The heart of NORTHFORCE is a website with the robust core function of matchmaking – that is, connecting companies in the area looking to hire with qualified talent within and outside the region. Positions in all industries and at all levels can be posted on the site. APEX intends the site to serve people throughout their careers. On the website, both companies and talent can create profiles, request notifications when new positions and candidates of interest are posted, and benefit from personalized direct matching between candidates and positions.
“The region’s public and private partners recognized the need for a talent database and continue to support and promote the platform,” said Randy Lasky, The Northspan Group President and CEO. “NORTHFORCE will continue to respond to our region’s employment needs.”
EDAM is a professional association of individuals and organizations throughout the state of Minnesota with a mission to advance economic development in Minnesota. EDAM members are leading economic developers in the state of Minnesota. EDAM consults with the state on public policy issues related to economic development and helps continually define and improve the profession. In 2014, APEX received the EDAM award for Excellence in Economic Development Marketing in recognition of its strategic Lake County data center attraction campaign.