Workforce Advantages

The economic success of any region depends on the quality of its workforce, and northeastern Minnesota is no exception. Our people are known for their loyalty and reliable work ethic. In fact, our region has the highest labor participation rate in the Midwest…75.8% to be exact! Beyond natural-based resources, the people of our region have a reputation for innovation in electronics, manufacturing and design. They also have a deep commitment to continuing training and education.

Northeastern Minnesota is gearing up to develop the workforce of tomorrow. The IRRRB’s education-based workforce development program is collaborating with the Northeast Higher Education District (NHED) and the district’s five community and technical colleges to implement a comprehensive talent development strategy that will prepare workers to meet the needs of industry.

Fast Facts

* Manufacturers in northeastern Minnesota have the lowest skills gap of any region in the state at 34%. Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) 2011 Minnesota Skills Gap Survey.

* 74% of employers in northeastern Minnesota are satisfied with their workers’ technical skills, compared to 58% in the nearest metropolitan area.

* 93% of adults have high school education or above, 20% have a Bachelor's Degree, and 55% have a professional certificate or license. Source: DEED & American Community Survey.

* Skilled workers are more readily available in northeastern Minnesota as compared to the rest of the state according to a study by the University of Minnesota Duluth.

* Minnesota’s public school open enrollment program allows students to enroll in schools outside their district

* The post-secondary enrollment options program encourages high school students to attend college tuition-free.

* Minnesota has the fourth highest graduation rate in the nation.

* Minnesota has led the nation in average ACT scores for five consecutive years.