NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — As North Dakota’s population continues to grow, so does its need for labor.

The newest population estimate for North Dakota is right under 780,000 people. And it could continue to grow, as people move here to help combat the labor shortage.

“As Governor Burgum mentioned recently in his executive budget address, if every college graduate, every high school graduate, every just as involved person re-entering the workforce, every person on unemployment which there really aren’t many, if they all took jobs today, we would still have thousands of open jobs in North Dakota. So we have to recruit people to our state,” said Katie Ralston Howe, the workforce director for the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

The Find the Good Life campaign was revamped six months ago as a way to encourage people to move to North Dakota.

Ralston Howe says nine people have moved here because of the campaign so far.

And she says more than 1,000 people have expressed interest in moving to the area.

“They’ve given us their names, they’ve given us their contact information, they’ve told us the type of job they’re looking for, the type of community they want to be in, and to me, that is the number we are really excited about,” said Ralston Howe.

The campaign is meant to inform people about the quality of life here in the state and also all the job opportunities.

And though it may be a surprise, Ralston Howe says many of the people who are interested in moving are from warm weather states.

“We certainly don’t want to try to hide the fact that winter exists and that winter can be harsh. However, North Dakota provides ample opportunities for embracing the cold weather,” said Ralston Howe.

Which is where the community champions come into play.

They serve as a person who gives their first-hand experience living in North Dakota.

“My husband and I moved here through the military. And so we’re not originally from Minot. So being able to share our experience about moving here and just share that the experiences, the resources we have, And just be a face to someone, a voice for them,” said Susan Ogurek, the workforce center manager for Job Service ND in Minot.

And Ogurek agrees.

Bringing people from out-of-state to North Dakota will have a positive impact.

“For businesses to grow, they need more employees to do those jobs. So we want to keep our economy growing and we’re gonna keep our economy growing through our workforce, that’s an important part of that,” said Ogurek.

Job Service North Dakota is hosting a nationwide virtual job fair on Wednesday, February 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Central time.

You can register online.