F-M Metro Economic Outlook Rooted In Education

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Local leaders joined civic and business leaders to talk about growth in the local economy. One major problem remains: finding qualified workers to fill all of the job openings. 

Since the 1800s, government officials saw the capacity of this county as underutilized.

NDSU President Dean Bresciani says, “The reason for that was due to the lack of public access to higher education. The masses were the key to unlocking that economic potential of this country.”

Today, education is seen as a “cost” and something we spend too much on so many states are now seeing cuts take place.

Bresciani adds, “We’re very fortunate that in our state we have been able to increase the amount we spend on higher education.”

The growth seen in the F–M metro can be attributed to having access to multiple colleges and universities in the area.

Although we see national economic improvement employers still struggle finding qualified workers.

Fargo Market President Dan Staller says, “66% of the businesses responded saying that in 2014 they had problems finding employees who were qualified to do the work that they were looking for.”

Besides the usual characteristics of being hardworking, dedicated and passionate, employers stress the importance of being a college graduate.

BMO Harris Bank Vice President Jessica Markkula says, “In today’s day in age, that degree is really like your entry into the market place. It’s not about what type of degree that you have just that you have that degree.”

And the marketplace continues to boom with many business reporting large increases in revenue, profitability and number of employees. Now they just need to find more skilled workers.

The health care industry is seeing the most number of open positions in the metro followed by agriculture and the hospitality industries.