By Doris Cooper, Grand Forks Region Economic Development
What started as a workforce development initiative is turning into a rally cry for the region.
“We formed a Human Resources Advisory Committee to address workforce development and we landed on something far deeper. We decided that to truly showcase our region, we had to embrace what makes us, us.” And according to Keith Lund, the incoming President & CEO of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation (GFREDC), that includes the weather. “It shapes our region, our people, and what we do on a daily basis,” says Lund.
Playing on the personality of the region, its people, and of course, the weather, AE2S Communications developed the theme: Grand Forks Region: Way Cooler Than You Think!
“We were excited to pitch this concept to the human resources advisory committee,” says Doris Cooper, GFREDC marketing & communications manager. “Yes, the Grand Forks region has a cold-weather reputation. We’re embracing that reputation and all of the other cool elements of living here.”
The Committee’s focus was to develop, fund, and implement a sustainable toolkit to support employers’ workforce recruitment and retention efforts. This is fronted by a centralized website, www.GrandForksisCooler.com, which serves as a portal into the Grand Forks region.
“We set out to help showcase our region’s personality through this website and toolkit that highlights the reasons this really is a great place to live, work, play, and stay,” says Lund. “I think we were able to come together and create something that will do just that.”
The “Grand Forks Region: Way Cooler Than You Think!” initiative has been led by the following funding partners: GFREDC, The Chamber-Grand Forks/East Grand Forks, Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau, UND, Grand Forks County, and City of Grand Forks, with input from an Advisory Committee comprised of human resources executives representing sectors including finance, manufacturing, UAS, utilities, engineering, agribusiness and health care.
“What I really like about the initiative is that it is universally adaptable. I’m excited about incorporating this into our community marketing,” notes The Chamber’s President & CEO Barry Wilfahrt. “It really works for all the organizations involved and that was important to us. The Grand Forks area really is cooler than you think.”
The initiative is being rolled out this week with the launch of the website, social media, advertising, and toolkits for organizations looking to recruit professionals to the region.