Next Steps: Addressing Talent Challenges

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

On November 15th CREC, Momentum West and numerous regional partners rolled out the eight recommended initiatives for us to address current and pending talent challenges.  These are listed below, with links to the summary overview provided by CREC as well as goal/initiative details.  The following is an overview of the report/recommendation documents.  Now the ball is in our court to drive these forward with our partners throughout the region.  We’ll be looking for groups of two to lead each initiative, as well as members to form the initiative team and work with them.  Please contact Steve Jahn ( if you are interested in helping tackle one of these.  Let the fun begin!

The strategic plan focuses on achieving two overarching goals:

  1. Expanding the Talent Pool
    There simply are not enough working adults available in the region to fill existing jobs.  The tight labor market is expected to continue getting tighter, and the region needs to implement strategies that will increase the number of people available for work.
  2. Improving Labor Market Efficiency
    The current workforce is not being used as productively as it could.  This may be due to several reasons:  lack of adequate preparation for work among prospective jobseekers, unproductive career placement activities for students and jobseekers, or ineffective employer hiring practices.  These conditions are not ideal in a market with plentiful labor, but they become major impediments in a tight labor market.

There are four initiatives under each of these two goals, with numerous specific recommendations under each initiative, some existing and many new.

  • Initiative 1.1
    Develop a targeted marketing campaign to communicate the region’s unique quality of place assets to students graduating from area universities before they leave the region.
  • Initiative 1.2
    Develop coordinated communications and outreach to area alumni about the benefits of living in the Momentum West region.
  • Initiative 1.3
    Market local job opportunities to out-commuters currently working in the Twin-Cities.
  • Initiative 1.4
    Provide job and support services targeted to traditionally under-represented groups.
  • Initiative 2.1: 
    Address industry talent needs for targeted industries (e.g., health care, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and higher education)
  • Initiative 2.2:
    Provide career planning support and skills information (about targeted industries) to key audiences in collaboration with employers, educational institutions, and workforce organizations.
  • Initiative 2.3:
    Provide business-led career learning opportunities for young adults (age 24 and under).
  • Initiative 2.4: 
    Raise awareness among job seekers about local openings and among employers about job search practices.

For even more detail on our findings, please take a look at the following PDFs:
Strategic Action Plan Goals Detail
Strategic Action Plan Report

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