One of the highest priorities for Advance Thief River is to increase the pool of workforce talent in the area. Michelle Landsverk, Project Manager for Advance Thief River, says that will mean getting more people into the pool.

“Workforce supply is tight,” Landsverk said. “If our area employers are going to continue to thrive, we need to make a concerted effort to attract people to move into the area.”

Rural communities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota have used an Extension program called “Marketing Hometown America” to draw new residents. University of Minnesota Extension has implemented their own version, called “Making It Home.” The “Making It Home” program creates a positive conversation about what a community offers newcomers. It then mobilizes community members to create an action plan. 

At their August meeting, Jobs, Incorporated board members discussed working cooperatively with the City of Thief River Falls and Pennington County to implement “Making It Home” in the Thief River area. The purpose is to explore the area’s potential to attract new residents and identify the best strategies to attract people to live in the area. 

People move often, and many look for a rural setting, such as the Thief River area to call home. “The area has many wonderful assets,” Landsverk said. “We need to capitalize on the positive features of the area.”

A steering committee has been established to kick off the local effort. 

If you would like to participate in “Making It Home,” please email Michelle Landsverk or call 218-280-1755.

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