Talent Forecast: Workforce Study Update

In July 2018, Talent Forecast began an eight-month study to gauge and counteract the looming workforce shortages affecting northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The coordinated effort between NORTHFORCE, APEX, the IRRRB, and more regional partners has now conducted over 150 interviews with organizations of all sectors and individuals of all demographics, and our research consultants are ready to present their preliminary findings and begin structuring solutions.

An upcoming Talent Forecast Solutions Session will explore the following key points:

  • Highlights of key findings from Talent Forecast visits in 2018
  • Finding regional consensus on priorities
  • Prioritization of these approaches
  • Initial identification of potential implementation strategies

The Talent Forecast team is made up of six members from the Institute for Decision Making (IDM) and the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC). Their research has focused primarily on the supply and demand of talent across nine communities: Ashland, Aitkin, Duluth, Eveleth and Virginia, Grand Rapids, Hermantown, Hibbing, International Falls, and Superior. Industries of focus include energy, engineering, education, manufacturing, aviation, healthcare, hospitality, tourism, and more.

The conducted interviews have gathered the viewpoints of students across all education levels, the unemployed, the underemployed, and the non participating workforce. The researchers have also interviewed workforce thought leaders and representatives from a broad cross section of organizations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

This effort is the first of its kind, considering its scope and the dedication of its partners from across our ten county region. They include the Blandin Foundation, the Northland Foundation, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training, and the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board.

“If our communities are going to overcome current and forthcoming workforce challenges, it’s going to take intensive conversation and alignment,” states Ian Vincent, NORTHFORCE advisor and senior business developer with APEX. “With all partners public, private, and academic on the same page, we stand to make a substantial impact on our region’s ability to attract, engage, retain, and grow workforce in the short and long term.”

The Talent Forecast Solutions Session will take place in early February. If you would like to participate, please send an email to Ian Vincent at ian@apexgetsbusiness.com indicating the reason for your interest and your contact information.

For more on Talent Forecast, visit https://regionaltalentforecast.com/.

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