A Community Change Initiative Project hopes to Entice Grads to Stay Local

A recent study found seven out of 10 college students leave the community after graduation

FARGO, ND — A recent study found seven out of 10 college students leave the community after graduation.

A new pilot program being launched at five area universities hopes to change that.

“Experience FMWF” is the Chamber’s latest plan to keep graduates from relocating and taking jobs elsewhere.

Workers on the project say if they can open up students’ eyes to the opportunities in the metro, both the students and the community will benefit.

“We want to really enhance the community that we have here and build the workforce,” said Mitch Johnson, one of the members of the 2017 FMWF class. “We want to bring in new people, new businesses and have that thriving community around. “That’s where we think our college students can be an asset to the community.”

Local universities said their programs are designed to benefit the area they are educating in, giving students even more of a reason to stay local after graduation.

“Most of the programs that we have here at NDSU are here because they serve the community and the jobs and the industries that need skilled workers in those areas,” said Kate Nelson, a career specialist at NDSU. “A lot of students are here to get a degree to work in industries that need them here in the F-M area.”

Nelson said once students walk out of the doors of NDSU, they have the ability to make a lasting impression on their community.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for our graduates in industries like technology,” said Nelson. “That’s a huge, growing industry right now with all of the start–ups that are coming up and popping up all over in the community. Obviously engineering with the way the state and the city is growing that is a booming industry where workers are needed. Our student nurses are getting the opportunity to intern, to do their clinical rotations, get a lot of good experience and build their network in hospitals here.”

It goes to show there’s no shortage of jobs for these students trying to get their feet in their door.

The project is launching this fall and will look to host events at the local universities during the academic year to connect students with more local businesses.

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