• A connection for education in the region

  • A connection for education in the region

    A connection for education in the region

    Increasingly, education at all levels is becoming more vital than ever as we face advances in technology, the ever-changing makeup of our workforce, and most importantly, the workforce gap experienced by employers in our region.

    The Chamber’s involvement in educational issues ramped up about five years ago as we became more involved in supporting our higher education institutions. Particularly on behalf of NDSU, we launched lobbying efforts to the state legislature for funding and capital projects. This session, we also spoke out in support of a governance model that would authorize more local control for North Dakota higher education institutions, allowing for more timely decisions in response to the needs of our region and state’s workforce. Efforts behind two-year colleges also increased as we moved forward in helping K-12 students become aware of opportunities with these institutions, as well as increasing awareness of the wide array of careers available to them.

    It’s imperative that all students have avenues available to explore career options, receive hands-on skills training and fully realize what opportunities exist to them in the region. This is a key audience to target as we address workforce challenges that we know employers are facing.

    Today, students are more empowered than ever to choose the post-secondary path that is best for them, whether it be continuing their education at either a two or four-year institution, entering the workforce, or joining the military. As a business community, we are in a position to help students make educated decisions about their futures by providing experiences, access and training that will prepare them to seize career opportunities in the FMWF area. Some of these points will be emphasized and detailed in a special initiative that will soon be announced by The Chamber and the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation.

    To help with these efforts, we’re happy to launch The Chamber’s Education committee focused on these issues. I am proud to welcome Louise Dardis and Anne Blackhurst as inaugural chairs and thank them for their work in forming the framework for this group. It’s hard to think of two other people more qualified to serve in these roles. We’re lucky and excited to have them, and to get to work!

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