NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Right now, hiring signs are everywhere you look around North Dakota.
But North Dakota’s current unemployment rate stands at 2.2%, which is one of the lowest in the country.
Right now, many employers say they simply can’t find workers.
Companies from across the state attended a seminar to learn about the top five industries with the highest number of job openings, and what can be done to fill those positions.
Executive Director of Job Service North Dakota, Patrick Bertagonolli, spoke about the innovative workforce strategies that support the alignment of communities, industries, and schools.
He says one thing that North Dakota is good at is opening its arms to new people.
“I want them to feel welcome, I want them to feel special, I want them to feel important, I want them to feel needed and wanted. To me that’s what seals the deal because it offers a sense of community, that’s important to me. And I think given what we’ve all been through across the nation, I think that people are looking for that, and to me, I believe that’s our strength,” said Patrick Bertagonolli, the executive director for Job Service North Dakota.
The five top industries with the highest number of job openings in our state are health care, education, service, technology, and skilled trades.
Job Service experts say leading a successful workforce starts early with our youth in schools.
Bertagonolli says that after talking with students in the state, three things stuck out to them as most important when deciding on a career path.
“They said, mental health, promoting a healthy lifestyle, and inspire our youth,” stated Bertagonolli.
A strong workforce is critical to rural economic development.
Because the Midwest faces several challenges in attracting and retaining skilled workers, Job Service is reaching out to other states to bring workers in.
Bertagonolli said, “We’ve got, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Sioux Falls, all these states and several cities throughout Minnesota that are really shopping our jobs. We have job seekers from 20 states and six countries, and we are super excited about this.”
Members of Job Service North Dakota say they are asking for additional funding from legislators to invest in more job-hiring companies throughout the country that will help bring workers to North Dakota.
They will also be involved in the largest virtual job fair to date, in February of 2023.