2~Workforce Development
Workforce Development
Workforce Matters 12.2015
Workforce Matters is a quarterly newsletter from the North Dakota Department of Commerce Workforce Development Division that informs private and public partners about the latest workforce news.
Use this as a resource for tips on how to recruit talent for your business, ways to engage newly hired employees, and success stories from companies who have used state programs to achieve a goal.
The Workforce Leadership Team has developed a resource to lessen any possible confusion on various state and federal workforce development programs in North Dakota. This resource includes the current funds available, a description for each program, the organization responsible for administering the program and a link for more information.

Available Workforce Projects/Programs

Great River Energy: Employer Spotlight

GRE.jpg“It may sound cliché, but Great River Energy truly values its employees,” says Kelly Schatz Jennings, Coal Creek Station. “Our 900 plus employees really are the organization’s greatest asset. We work hard to provide them with the safest and healthiest working environments, give them opportunities to volunteer and serve the community, and compensate them fairly for their hard work and dedication.”
In return, Great River Energy’s reputation serves as its biggest recruitment tool. “Our employees talk outside of work to their friends and when you treat your employees fairly, they are the ones who end up selling the company for us,” says Diana Duquette, Stanton Station.
Great River Energy contributes that its 5 main attributes make it a great place to work.
Great benefits
Qualified professionals will find Great River Energy has a lot to offer: competitive compensation, continued education, medical coverage and a generous retirement plan.
Culture is team-based, collaborative and fun
Great River Energy employees are encouraged to build collaborative working relationships with others, provide constructive, timely feedback, contribute a fair share of the work and openly share new found information and ideas. In addition, employees are also encouraged to seek new and better ways to improve processes through our business improvement program.
Wellness programs and facilities
Great River Energy was named the 14th Healthiest Workplace in America. It offers wellness programs and benefits to help employees and their families live their best lives possible.  The company also helps employees manage health care costs by offering healthy lifestyle education opportunities.
Work/Life balance
Great River Energy offers options for flexible scheduling and has great benefits that promote and encourages involvement and participation in local communities.
Continuous learning opportunities
Great River Energy offers many tools to help individuals manage their own careers with career development, tuition reimbursement, leadership exploration programs and much more.
For more information on Great River Energy and their careers

Workforce Strategic Plan for ND

The Workforce Leadership Team reviews and implements the North Dakota Strategic Plan for Workforce Development. The 2015-17 plan focuses on developing a unified and transparent workforce system, preparing our future workforce to meet the state’s employment opportunities, connecting employers with a skilled candidate pool and expanding and retaining our existing workforce. The action items in the plan continue to drive North Dakota’s global competitiveness through attracting, retaining and expanding North Dakota talent.


The plan is updated as accomplishments are met. For more information, please contact Wayde Sick at (701) 328-5345.

North Dakota Strategic Plan for Workforce Development

Educators in Industry

Educators in Industry offers K-12 teachers the ability to experience a 4-week externship that places teachers in a corporate work environment. Starting in June 2016, these externships will give classroom teachers the opportunity to further understand the engineering design process and STEM related industries through practical work experience. The educators will earn a $2000 stipend for completing the externship. $1000 of that stipend will be funded through the Department of Commerce, with the employer providing a dollar for dollar match.
During the 2015 Legislative Session, the North Dakota Legislature appropriated $50,000 to the North Dakota Department of Commerce to develop an “Educators in Industry” externship program. An existing program through the collaborative efforts of the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, North Dakota State University and the South East Education Cooperative will serve as model for this statewide program.

For questions or to learn how your company can participate in this program, please visit the website address or contact Jennifer Dahl or Bradley Bowen.

Have you heard of Youth Forward?

Did you know the state has a program to help students make informed decisions regarding their career youthforward.jpgpaths? The Youth Forward office, a division of Workforce Development, helps provide students and parents with information about North Dakota colleges and universities, financial options for paying for college, and local internship/job opportunities.

ND Youth Forward has a website with valuable information to help student’s questions with the following resources:
  • Links to research careers by industry, education, and occupation. 
  • Career Conversations - videos of professionals talking candidly about how they started in their profession and what their job entails.
  • Information on options such as dual credit and extended learning programs, which are ways to complete college courses while still attending high school.
  • Job shadowing is also a great way to discover careers. Most businesses will host students and educate them on what career options can be available in their field of profession. Becoming involved in career fairs is another tool used to highlight their businesses to students.
  • Options for paying for college. Youth Forward’s website has links to the Bank of North Dakota’s College Planning Center and various scholarship opportunities.
Parents also have a section to help them research financial options and help with career exploration.
As a business, Youth Forward is also a great resource to spotlight your office and feature some of the great career opportunities in your business field. Hosting job shadowing events or internships is a good way to connect to the future workforce while they are still in school. The Youth Office uses social media and their newsletter to help promote these events to students, teachers, parents and other interested parties.

If your business would be interested in participating in a career conversation or have the Youth Office promote upcoming events, please contact Jennifer Dahl at 701-328-7268.

Find us on our website or connect through social media on Facebook and Twitter

New to North Dakota 

NewtoND.jpgCreating an emotional connection to place is a key element in attracting and retaining people who make the move to North Dakota. In a cooperative effort, Experience ND and Find the Good Life are working to showcase that in a series of videos being created called "New to North Dakota." These videos highlight six families who have relocated to North Dakota. It captures them living, working and enjoying the benefits North Dakota has to offer. View New to North Dakota Stories. 

The stories will be featured as part of a resource toolkit that will be made available to partners and the general public later this year to help raise awareness about the life North Dakota offers. Social media and other digital applications will help promote the videos and engage audiences. A strategy is being developed and it is the plan to highlight one video every two months over the next year. 

Watch for the toolkit and videos to be released. For more information on this effort, please contact Sandy McMerty. 

Are you a military-friendly company?

Great employees can come from a military background. They are dedicated and disciplined military.JPGindividuals who know the value of procedures and responsibility. They often have technical skills and invaluable experience they earned through their service. They are a diverse group with integrity and a strong work ethic.

Does your application have a checkbox asking for military service? Is that what it means to be a military-friendly company? A military-friendly company will make it possible for reserve and guardsmen, as well as recently separated service members, to work while providing support for their families.  

If your organization is striving to be more military-friendly, here’s what you can do to foster the company/military relationship on a daily basis:
1. Communication between the company, the service member, and if applicable their family. This is crucial during times of deployment so the individual doesn’t feel like an outsider up on return.

2. Set and maintain firm company policies to ensure there is little misinterpretation of changes during a deployment. Keep your military workers and their families in the loop with emails, letters, or phone calls.

3. Training provides help to everyone to understand company policies while supporting military employees. Everyone needs to know what to expect and how to continue to work together.

4. Keeping civilian pay during deployment to help make up the difference of wages lost between military and civilian pay provides support and an ease of mind to the employee during deployments.

5. Ensure a smooth transition back to work after they return from deployment; military members call this “left seat, right seat.” This allows a specific amount of time for an outgoing person to hand off duties to the incoming employee. The roles are reversed when the military employee is preparing for deployment.

AmeriCorps Project Spotlight: YMCA of Cass & Clay Counties

The YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties is the largest child care provider in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area0americorps.jpg and was voted the top child care provider in the area in 2014. AmeriCorps members are an integral part of this success. The majority of the members are placed in the School Age Programs as mentors to work with children in small groups or on an individual basis to promote improved behaviors and skills that translate into academic success. A smaller number of the members are placed as Healthy Living Coaches who give health and nutrition coaching to small groups and individuals. These coaches show the youth that being active and making healthy nutrition choices is fun! A great way to see the AmeriCorps members in action and hear directly from them is to watch the 2014 recruitment video

For more information contact Brooks Dockter, AmeriCorps Coordinator 701.356.1467 or view their website.
To sign up for this free electronic newsletter visit NDWorkforce.com and click “sign up for e-news” and check Workforce Development. 

North Dakota Department of Commerce
1600 E. Century Ave., Suite 2
Bismarck, ND 58503 | 701.328.5300
More info on North Dakota:
ND Department of Commerce
Experience ND
Economic Development & Finance
Workforce Development
Community Services
North Dakota Department of Commerce

You can subscribe, unsubscribe or change your preferences in the newsletter section of our web site. SmartMail is a product of Odney.

update subscription settings | unsubscribe

Copyright ©2021 North Dakota Department of Commerce
design and development by Odney