Event highlights workforce environment for OTC area

Contributed photo
Otter Tail County hosted a countywide Workforce Summit on Wednesday, April 24, at Thumper Pond.

Otter Tail County hosted a countywide Workforce Summit on Wednesday, April 24. The summit brought nearly 100 workforce partners together at Thumper Pond Resort in Ottertail to learn about the current workforce environment, engage with each other and activate workforce solutions for the county.

The Workforce Summit included presentations from employers, workforce agencies, non-profit organizations, and the Community Development Agency (CDA). Guest speakers from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Center for Rural Policy and Development, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, and others joined presentations about a variety of employer resources and partnership opportunities.

Presentations focused on strategies to address the county’s need for workforce. Key strategies highlighted include resident recruitment and retention, engaging high school students and youth, supporting populations with high barriers to employment and creating welcoming workplaces.

“Attendees heard more about solutions than challenges. That was intentional. We are all part of the solution, whether that means developing employee training, addressing barriers to employment, or creating welcoming workplaces,” said Otter Tail County Deputy Administrator Nick Leonard.

“The county’s OTC Works workforce strategy was developed to promote the availability of workforce resources, help employers recruit and retain workers more effectively, and create partnerships to address workforce needs. Events like the Workforce Summit connect many stakeholders in Otter Tail County to move the needle on these three actions,” said Otter Tail County Board Chair Kurt Mortenson.