Workforce is at the forefront of our conversations across our communities, states and entire nation…whether its shortages, low unemployment, the great resignation and more. In 2022, The FMWF Chamber Foundation was launched to provide a dedicated systems-based approach to our regional workforce needs. We believe true collaboration, innovative partnerships, and leveraging each other’s strengths are the ingredients for building a sustainable approach to workforce solutions and economic prosperity.
At The Chamber Foundation, we understand our workforce crisis requires a holistic approach to talent attraction, acclimation, development, and retention. We also know it cannot be solved by one organization alone. Our Ignite Initiative embraces collaborating and uniting the strengths of the community to give rise to regional prosperity in acclimation development, and retention. We know our community can only be successful if every person is provided the opportunity to succeed. In the upcoming months and years, we are calling upon education, businesses, non-profits, governments and individuals to come together, eliminate silos, and innovate together – for our future.
The Foundation may be new, but The Chamber’s distinguished talent development programs have been around for some time. Programs like Young Professionals Network, Professionals of Color and Leadership FMWF paved a path to expand and develop a dedicated workforce and talent focus within The Foundation.
In 2023, we begin launching innovative workforce solutions rooted in evidencebased models, research and best practices. We will enter the implementation phase of The Good Jobs Challenge, a once-ina-generation opportunity The Chamber Foundation was awarded in August 2022; launch Concierge programming, expand current programming and much more.
We are building a network of people who believe the impossible is possible. We invite you to join us as we march toward a future that rises to our workforce challenges and writes the story of our region’s success. We are just getting started – come join us.
The Chamber Young Professionals Network
A community with active and engaged young professionals is a community that attracts and retains them. This network is home to the leaders and influencers of tomorrow.
Home is a feeling. It’s a combination of familiarity, acceptance, and being welcomed. Welcoming newcomers and their families to the region is inviting them to call FMWF home. In 2023, The Chamber Foundation is launching its Community Champions and Concierge programming. Designed to welcome all newcomers and their families from entry to senior level, this acclimation programming focuses on helping newcomers transition to the region we love and call home.
We are seeking passionate representatives who Champion our community! Do you have a favorite restaurant, dog park, or activity to share with someone new? What is the number one thing you must share with people when you find out they just moved here? Connect with us at the QR code below to learn more about becoming a Community Champion!
The Chamber understands that hiring and retention are at the top of area employers’ concerns. Hiring out-of-state talent takes time and resources that are too precious to lose to turnover – especially at the senior level. When senior-level employees leave, they unintentionally influence direct reports and team members to consider leaving too. If your company is hiring at the senior level and need to ensure your new talent can seamlessly transition from out-of-state to FMWF, contact us to customize a Concierge experience that will connect your new hire and their family to the resources, relationships and experiences they will need to succeed. Our robust process begins with connecting directly with your new talent to assess their needs. What does your new employee need that you may not be able to assist with? Let us ask those questions and connect them directly with resources and people in the region.
Throughout your new employee’s first-year integration period, The Chamber Foundation will provide opportunities to showcase the region, curate meaningful experiences, and provide moments to establish connections and build relationships with others and the community. Our Concierge Strategist and passionate team of Concierge representatives will provide regular check-ins and needs assessments, respond to new needs, and help your new employees settle in. Your responsibility is persuading talent to join your organization, our responsibility is persuading them to call FMWF home.
The Chamber Leadership FMWF
Connecting and developing existing and emerging leaders to impact communities, careers and lives.
Ignite FMWF is a public-private partnership initiative that focuses on career awareness, exploration and preparedness, direct business connection and current talent pipeline development as we work to build the future of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo metro’s skilled workforce.
The Ignite platform serves to link recruitment, skill building and career navigation into one collaborative system designed to close the workforce gap. This streamlined approach will serve as the hub for K-12, higher education, community non-profits and employers. Business and industry have the ability to directly impact education in the region to build and develop future workforce generations, and shape the future of talent in the community.
Ignite also provides organizations the opportunity to highlight their organization’s missions, goals, and employees by allowing us to come out and interview/film employees discussing their careers and providing insight and information on how they got into their specific field, industry, and job. These videos are housed on our platform, and educate learners by allowing them to see actual people in the community, along with providing information on the education and experiences that ultimately lead to their successfully being hired, what their career outlook could be, and realistic salary expectations within the FM area in those specific jobs.
Take the time to get involved with the Ignite platform as a business, and as an individual. Go to ignitefmwf.com and create your profiles today to start interacting with educators, the community, and job seekers.
For more information on how to schedule a video shoot, or how to create your profile and navigate the platform, please contact The Chamber, and we can set up a time to meet with you at your business.
The Chamber Professionals of Color
Creating impactful and inclusive opportunities for professionals of color to develop personally and professionally through meaningful engagement and a sense of belonging.
What are people saying about the Chamber?
ND Governor Doug Burgum
“Today is a day of gratitude and celebration with this Good Jobs Challenge Grant … We now have the dollar resources and we know how to collaborate. We have an opportunity to not just be best in the region, but one of the best in the country, and show how all of these workforce challenges can be solved together. When we are doing this, we are doing more than just creating jobs, we are really transforming lives.”
Marvin, Chris Barta
“We are more than grateful for the opportunity to partner with The Chamber Foundation’s Ignite regional workforce initiative. As a partner we are excited to be involved in the development of additional education and skill-training programs, interviewing many those candidates who complete the manufacturing-specific programs, providing quality jobs for those graduates and growing this community.”
First International Bank & Trust, Peter Stenehjem
“The Chamber Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the community’s regional workforce ecosystem, and they do that by activating community partners and engaging in innovative approaches to solving the region’s workforce issues. This includes acclimation, development, retention, and diversity, equity and inclusion. Ignite FMWF is also a major part of this, as the region’s workforce infrastructure and system of awareness, exploration, training and connection.”
The Chamber Women Connect
Bringing women together in a unique, courageous and energetic forum that will build connections, provide a space to be brave and explore leadership and development both personally and professionally.
The Chamber Foundation’s Good Jobs Challenge Grant
What is this grant?
August of 2022 was an exciting time for our FMWF community. The Chamber Foundation was awarded an EDA Good Jobs Challenge Grant, one of only 32 awarded across the entire nation, to drive workforce development in our region through training, credentialing, and wraparound services for communities and individuals that are often underrepresented. The $0.62 million grant will power a major, community-wide, three-year project that will be a systematic approach toward connecting untapped talent from underserved communities to careers within targeted industries. The project’s main mission during these three years will be to connect 900+ workers to “Good Jobs” (starting at $45k+ annually) in Precision Agriculture, Cybersecurity/IT, and Advanced Manufacturing industries.
The project is currently in phase one of three, and The Chamber Foundation team is preparing the pilot versions of services-offered and educational opportunities for career seekers to begin in early February of 2023. The Ignite FMWF platform will be the mechanism that delivers content and information to career seekers while connecting them with regional employers.
The Chamber Foundation is partnering with several area organizations and employers to drive every facet of the project forward successfully.
Who will it serve?
The developing project will offer resources to populations including new Americans, BIPOC*, veterans, justice-involved, and high school students for training and development in the targeted industries to cultivate durable skills and specific credentials through traditional, hybrid, and online learning.
*BIPOC – Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
Why is this important?
A pressing challenge to the region’s workforce is reaching untapped talent pools to meet its growing skilled labor shortage. Our region’s 2% unemployment rate is lower than the national average which is 3.7%; yet, unemployment rates within our target populations reach more than 10%. Matching underserved populations with employers is one part of the solution, but breaking down the barriers to upskilling and employment that these eligible participants disproportionately experience, is another major piece of the puzzle. Examples of barriers might include childcare, transportation, or English language learning; these barriers are directly addressed by wraparound services. This grant-funded project is necessary to enhance the vitality of the region, directly serve key populations, and upskill the workforce within three of the region’s flagship industries.
This story was prepared by The FMWF Chamber Foundation using Federal funds under award ED22HDQ3070087 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.
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