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Job fair addressing Park Rapids area workforce needs

     Admission is free.

     As of Monday, 27 representatives from businesses, agencies, the school, Department of Natural Resources forest nursery and more were registered to be on hand to discuss the approximately 225 jobs currently available on a full-time, part-time and seasonal basis in the area.

     The jobs are geared to a multigenerational workforce, explained Carolyn Pfeifer of Hubbard County Regional Economic and Development Commission - “from baby boomers to high schoolers.”

     The Job Fair is a means to break down the communication barrier, Pfeifer said of the availability of positions. Younger people tend to look online for opportunity, while their older counterparts scroll the “help wanted” ads in the newspaper.

     “The jobs are out there,” she said. “But business owners can’t find employees.”

     Discussion began last fall after businesses faced a shortage of workers during the summer season.

     “The job issue is the number one concern we hear about,” Chamber director Nicole Lalum said. “Our board of directors made this issue a top priority in our 2016 Program to Work and as such, there a numerous issues we are collaborating on.

     “This is as big as all of us,” Lalum said. “It affects every single person, residents and employees alike in some way. To create change, we need the conversations going, the sharing of data and ideas, interweaving among small and large groups of community in order to move to an actionable plan.”

     Among the Job Fair participants are:

- Park Rapids Area Schools

- DeLaHunt Broadcasting

- North Memorial Health Care

- Man Power

- Flying W Gardens

- Knute Nelson HomeCare

- Always There Staffing

- Heartland Homes

- Timber Creek Dock & Lift

- Employment Resource Center

- Doherty Staffing

- CHI St. Joseph’s Health

- L&M Fleet Supply

- Park Rapids Downtown Business Association

- Northwoods Bank

- Heritage Community

- Walmart

- DNR State Forest Nursery

- T&M Express

- Essentia Health

- RD Offutt Company

- NorthStar Orthodontics

- Americold Logistics

- McDonald’s of Park Rapids

- Bear Paw Resort and

- Hugo’s

Community Conversation

The public is invited to attend a Northwoods Community Conversation on the issue of jobs that are not being filled in the Park Rapids area.

     “Let’s figure this out!” will be held in two sessions, from 1 to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10 at the Century School cafetorium.

     Three “key questions will be addressed:

- Why do you think our community has more jobs than people to fill them?

- How does this impact you?

- What would it take to create change?

     Refreshments, daycare and transportation are available.

     Call 732-4111 for more information.

     The “conversation” is sponsored by a grant from the Blandin Foundation