The workforce initiative was adopted in response to the findings of a Regional Competitiveness Assessment that was prepared for the IMPACT 20/20 Core Team, using the results of extensive face-to-face interviews conducted with all 24 members by an independent consultant, as well as corroborating statistical data. The objective of the IMPACT 20/20 Workforce Taskforce is to "give first-line and mid-level supervisors the management and leadership skills necessary for the 21st Centruy workplace."
Northwest Minnesota has many resources to develop talent, but if the region is going to maximize those resources and meet the talent needs of employers, resource providers must have a clear understanding of current and future workforce challenges.
In 2009, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities facilitated a series of visits between college presidents and businesses throughout the state. Twenty of those visits were with businesses in Northwest Minnesota. One of the most clearly articulated needs that emerged from the visits was the importance of having employees equipped with the leadership and management skills required for a changing workplace.
The Skills@Work Northwest Action Team recently completed a planning effort. For more on the work of the Northwest Action Team or about the Skills@Work Effort, visit the Skills@Work website, or download a copy of "Minnesota was once the BRAINPOWER State: Let's Win That Title Back.
As a follow-up to those visits, and with a desire to serve the unique requirements of Northwest Minnesota, the IMPACT 20/20 workforce task force surveyed over twenty employers throughout the region, focusing on their specific needs for management, supervisory, and leadership skills.
Custom Courses Available
Based on the information gathered through the business survey, IMPACT 20/20 is offering three courses which are available on a custom basis, one on coaching, one on customer service. and one on generational differences in the workplace. The training is a collaborative effort of the region's higher educational institutions - Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College, Northland Community and Technical College, University of Minnesota Crookston, and University of North Dakota.