Preparing for the New Workforce - March 1, 2023

The Workforce Strategy Consultant team hosted an engaging virtual discussion on strategies to prepare for expected demographic and market changes. Our discussion focused on aligning recruiting and retention efforts with the values and priorities of the New Workforce. A panel of employers and subject matter experts discussed what these demographic changes will be, and how we can leverage them as a strategic advantage in our organizations. 


  • Nancy Lyons, Founder and CEO - Clockwork Interactive
  • Shawn Herhusky, Manager, Workforce Strategy and Talent Pipeline Development - Essentia Health
  • Anna Peterson, Head of People and Culture - DEED
  • Chocoletta Simpson, MPA, Director, Office of Institutional Equity and Access/CDO - St. Cloud State University

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Biases, Microaggressions, and Code Switching - February 1, 2023

Our workforce today is more diverse than ever. Although there are efforts to welcome diversity in the workplace, BIPOC and other underrepresented groups continue to experience biases, inequities, and microaggressions in the workplace. Those who are able to navigate often find themselves having to code-switch to assimilate.

During this webinar, we took a more in-depth look at biases and microaggressions as they relate to the workforce and how to recognize and respond. We also looked at the phenomenon of code-switching. Why is this still necessary in today's diverse workforce? What is the cost of code-switching for those affected? Why do some feel the need to do this to be taken seriously?


Watch Recording

Download PDF of presentation


The Woke Coach®

Rework America Alliance | Markle | Advancing America's Future

TRUE Tuesdays – A learning community for rural Minnesota social justice champions and equity advocates (

An Intersectional Approach to Inclusion at Work (

Code Switch : NPR


Video: YouTube: Everyday Struggle: Switching Codes for Survival: 

Video: YouTube: The Cost of Code Switching: 

Video: YouTube: Addressing microaggressions and biases in the workplace:  

Video: YouTube: Microaggressions in the Workplace:  


State of the Workforce – Where Can We Still Make an Impact in Our Current Labor Market? - January 4, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Workforce Strategy Consultant team led an engaging virtual discussion about where employers can still make an impact in filling workforce needs even in our tight labor market. Hear from a panel of employers and subject matter experts who will review current labor data and discuss how employers can support retention and inclusion efforts promoting equitable access of current labor pools, which lead to positive organizational impact. 


Watch recording

Download PDF of presentation

Key highlight:

The question posed: What key advice would you give to businesses? Where should they start? What are the easy wins, so to speak?

Panelist Carl Crawford’s response:

  1. Reach out to DEED for data assistance or do a deep dive with IDI (Intercultural Development Inventory). Understand your company. Everybody has a narrative, but data doesn’t lie, the truth will be there.
  2. Understand the subculture within your business and outside of your business. Who you are in the community has a big difference and a big impact.
  3. Build relationships with underserved communities to build your future workforce. How do you show up to those communities that are underrepresented, when do you show up? All of that has an impact. Are you supporting the little league baseball team in your community? Do they know who you are, and more importantly that you care?
  4.  Employees today are savvy – if you are not going to be about them, they are not going to be about you.

Resources to share:

City of Duluth Human Rights Office

American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO):

St Louis County BIPOC Peer Support Information:

Intek Plastics:


LMI Data Tools:

LMI Reports and Publications:

Brooklyn Park Youth Entrepreneurship Program:

DEED Training Grant Programs:

CareerForce Partners:


American Indian OIC:


Statewide Services and Support For Your Business - December 7, 2022

December's meeting will highlight a few of the statewide services that are available to you that will help you attract, train and retain your employees. Learn about your regional programs and personal contacts that can assist you with your workforce needs.

  • CareerForce services through DEED
    • Employment Service
    • Veterans Employment Services
  • Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards (MAWB)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS)
  • State Services for the Blind (SSB)

Watch recording

View a PDF of presentation


  • Liz Jennings, Employer Engagement Specialist,  Employment Services, CareerForce, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Direct: 651-259-7570,
  • Jane Kerntz, Veterans Employment Representative, Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic DevelopmentHibbing CareerForce
  • 3920 13th Avenue East, Hibbing, MN, Direct: 218-231-8587 or Mobile: 218-422-5395,
  • Marci Jasper, Business Consultant, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Department of Employment and Economic Development, 1201 89th Avenue NE  Suite #235 Blaine, MN 55434, Mobile: 763-344-3018,
  • Dacia VanAlstine | Business Services and Employment Program Specialist, State Services for the Blind, Department of Employment and Economic Development, 2200 University Avenue West, Suite 240, St. Paul, MN  55114, Phone: 651-539-2349, Text: 651-508-1541, Hours: 6:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Tuesday - Friday,
  • Jeanna Fortney, MSW, Director, Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards, mobile: 703-606-2442,

Resources to share:

CareerForce Information and Assistance Line: or 651-259-7500


Building Bridges: DEI as an Effective Recruitment, Retention & Sustainability Strategy: American Indian Workforce - November 2, 2022

Nearly 80,000 Minnesotans identify as American Indian or Alaska Natives, with seven Ojibwa tribal nations and four Dakota tribal nations located in our great state. In addition, Minnesota has urban communities that are home to native people and cultures. In fact, the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis has one of the highest percentages of population who identify as American Indian and Alaska Native of any community in the U.S. The Native cultures of Minnesota are rich with cultural, spiritual, and geographic variety. Celebrating and championing this uniqueness within our organizational cultures and operations is an important step in growing healthy and sustainable communities.

This was an engaging discussion around strategies that support and strengthen our American Indian Workforce. We explored resources available on a state and local level, and we provided opportunities to connect with community builders who are already invested in our Native communities and workforce. We spoke with organizations that are currently succeeding at building meaningful connections between our Indigenous and non-Native neighbors, and who are doing the work to strengthen and sustain these valuable relationships. Hear from our panel of subject matter experts as they offer insight and perspective on how DEI strategies not only benefit us as employers but provide a roadmap of sustainability for our local economies and communities as well.


Innovative Ways to Connect with Students and Build Your Workforce - October 5, 2022

An engaging discussion to learn about strategies for engaging potential talent through career exploration opportunities with youth. Hear from a panel of employers and subject matter experts on promising practices for developing and strengthening your organization’s youth career pathways using various methods including community outreach programs, apprenticeships, and summer exploration experiences. 


  • The Uniquely Abled Academy at South Central College, Jim Hanson – Dean of Business & Industry, Director for Customized Workforce Education at South Central College
  • Mankato’s “I am” Program, Caleb Watson – Career & College Readiness Coordinator, Mankato Area Schools
  • Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association (CMMA) K-12 Navigator Online Business Directory, Tim Zipoy – Business Service Coordinator, Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, Inc. (CMJTS) and CMMA Board member
  • Central Minnesota’s Operation Exploration, Diana Ristamaki – Youth and Universal Team Manager at Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, Inc. (CMJTS)


Re-engaging the aging population post-pandemic – An untapped talent pool - September 7

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Workforce Strategy Consultant team hosted an engaging virtual discussion about re-engaging the aging population post-pandemic. Hear from a panel of employers and subject matter experts about how to support recruitment, retention, and inclusion efforts for older adults.


Resource links:


Reach out to your regional Workforce Strategy Consultants with any question you may have.


Realizing the Value of Untapped Talent Pools: Workforce Partnerships that Work - August 3

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Workforce Strategy Consultant team hosted an engaging discussion about innovative workforce partnerships. Hear from a panel of employers and subject matter experts about how businesses and nonprofits align and leverage their collective resources and expertise to support recruitment and retention efforts for youth, individuals with refugee status, and justice-involved talent pools. 


Resource links:

Steele Co. Works:

Additional Resources:


Strategies for Upskilling & Training Your Workforce - July 6, 2022

Learn about strategies for training and upskilling your workforce. Hear from a panel of employers and subject matter experts on promising practices and learn about state and regional supports. 


Danielle Kressin, MN Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) Consultant, Metro Area,

LaRohn Latimer, Senior Field Rep – Apprenticeships Minnesota,

Dan Solomon, Manager – MN Dual Training-Pipeline,

Rich Wessels, Program Manager – Youth Skills Training (YST) Program,

Shawn LaQueOperations ManagerTerog Manufacturing, 

Terog Manufacturing | Roller Manufacturers (

Erica Lester, Workforce Specialist, MN Association of Community Health Centers (MNACHC),

Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers – Working Together for Affordable Health Care (

Stephanie OchockiCorporate Recruitment DirectorSeneca  

Seneca Foods - Farm Fresh Goodness Made Great


Program & Resource Links

Workforce Strategy Consultant Team:


MJSP Partnership Program:

MJSP Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP):

MJSP Automation Training Incentive Program (ATIP):

Dual Training Pipeline Program:

Dual Training Pipeline FAQs:

Youth Skills Training Program:

Youth Skills Training Program Guide

Registered Apprenticeship Program:

Registered Apprenticeship FAQs:


Engaging Potential Talent through Onsite Career Exploration Opportunities - June 1

Learn about strategies for engaging potential talent through onsite career exploration opportunities. Hear from a panel of employers and subject matter experts on promising practices for hiring and retaining talent using various methods including: Internships, Externships, Job Shadowing, and Summer Work Experiences. 


Main Resources:

Other Resources:


Realizing the Value of Untapped Talent Pools: Engaging with Youth in Your Community - May 4

Did you know only 53.5% of Minnesota's 16-19 year olds participate in the labor force? Join us for an engaging discussion to learn about strategies in developing strong connections with today's youth that will strengthen your talent pipeline for years to come. Hear from a panel of employers and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Coordinators that are subject matter experts with promising practices for developing successful training opportunities for youth. 

Additional Workshop Resources

Regional Resources:






Other Resources:


Realizing the Value of Untapped Talent Pools: Engaging With Minnesota's Second Chance Workforce - April 6

Join us for an engaging discussion to learn about strategies for engaging and supporting Minnesota’s Second Chance Workforce. Hear from a panel of employers and subject matter experts on promising practices for hiring and retaining from this talent pool.

Guest Presenters
Additional Workshop Resources


Finding Value in an Untapped Talent Pool: Recruiting and Retaining People with Disabilities - March 2, 2022

Join us for an engaging discussion to learn about strategies for engaging and supporting Minnesota’s Workforce with disabilities. Hear from a panel of employers and subject matter experts on promising practices for hiring and retaining from this talent pool.

Guest Presenters

Presenters: People with Disabilities in the Workforce

Business Panelists

ADA Reasonable Accommodations & Best Practices

Unplugged Co-Facilitator

Additional Workshop Resources

State of Minnesota, DEED – Vocational Rehabilitation Services:

Christian Brothers Cabinets:

Touchstone Mental Health:

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):, toll free: 800-669-4000, local number: 612-335-4040

Job Accommodation Network (JAN):

HR Tips:

Minnesota Department of Human Rights: Voice:  651-539-1100, TTY:  651-296-1283, Toll Free:  800-651-3704, 

ADA Minnesota @ Metropolitan Center for Independent Living: Voice: 651-603-2015, Toll free: 888-630-9793

Great Lakes ADA Center: 800-949-4232 

CareerForceMN – Bite-Sized Learning for Employers:

CareerForceMN: Employer Guide to Developing a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Workplace:

WSC: Resources on Hidden Bias in the Workplace:

WSC: Hidden Bias in the Workplace Quick Video Series: - VRS: Find Your Vocational Rehabilitation Services Employment Specialist | CareerForce (

MN Council on Disability:


Strategies for Engaging with Minnesota’s BIPOC Workforce - February 2, 2022

Join us for an engaging discussion to learn about strategies for engaging and supporting Minnesota’s BIPOC Workforce. Hear from a panel of employers and subject matter experts on promising practices for hiring and retaining BIPOC talent. 

Guest Presenters
Additional Workshop Resources


Innovative Recruiting Strategies: Connecting with Today’s Workforce - January 5, 2022

Join DEED’s Workforce Strategy Consultants as we discuss one of the biggest challenges for employers today, Recruitment. Learn from health care employers in our state how they are implementing a variety of innovative strategies to grow their workforce to meet our state's critical needs. These strategies are applicable to any sector and can be implemented by both small and large employers.

Guest Presenters


    Strategies and Support for Innovative Child Care Solutions - December 1

    Join DEED’s Workforce Strategy Consultants as we tackle one of the economy’s most vexing workforce issues: child care!  In Greater Minnesota alone, there is a need for more than 40,000 additional slots. To address this growing crisis, communities and employers across the state are partnering to develop innovative solutions.  We’ll talk to those working in this space who will share some of the novel approaches being developed, and touch on some of the resources that employers and others can use to improve outcomes in their communities.

    Guest Presenters
    Additional Workshop Resources


    Realizing the Value of Untapped Talent Pools: Engaging Our Immigrant & Refugee Workforce - November 3, 2021

    Join DEED's Workforce Strategy Consultants for a discussion focused on examples of partnerships between businesses and community-based organizations to access immigrant and refugee talent pools in Minnesota. Hear perspectives and promising practices for creating win-win employment partnerships. Be sure to check out our optional “Workforce Wednesday: Unplugged” immediately following the event for an extra 30 minutes of Q & A and the opportunity to turn your camera on, unmute yourself, and ask questions directly to the Regional Workforce Consultants, as well as the session’s panelists.  

    Guest Presenters


    Manufacturing in Minnesota: Diversifying Your Workforce - October 6, 2021

    Join DEED's Workforce Strategy Consultants for a discussion focused on reaching underutilized talent pools to fill manufacturing positions, getting the word out about employment opportunities in the field and what working in the sector is really like today. Currently, the manufacturing workforce in Minnesota is 70% male and 83% white. The next generation of workers will be a much more racially and ethnically diverse workforce, so it is important to provide an entry point into the manufacturing industry for youth from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, as well as for young women. This virtual meeting will focus on highlighting proven strategies to build talent pipelines; hearing and sharing best practices; and networking with other Minnesota employers about diversifying your workforce. 

    Guest Presenters
    Additional Workshop Resources


    Resident Recruitment and Welcoming Communities Initiatives - September 1, 2021

    One of the greatest challenges in workforce today is the shortage of labor. OMne way to address this is to attract new residents into your community, but that could be easier said than done. Join us on September 1st, where the Workforce Strategy Consultants have gathered a roundtable of experts to discuss local resident recruitment efforts and workforce. In this virtual event, we will discuss the challenges of a resident recruitment effort, what’s been effective, what was not, and what local community and business leaders can do to attract talent to their area and workers to their companies.

    Guest Presenters

    Amy Baldwin

    Elissa Hansen

    Len Bakken

    Additional Workshop Resources


    Recruiting and Hiring a Diverse Workforce - August 4, 2021

    According to DEED's Labor Market Office, Minnesota's population between 2018-2038 is expected to increase by 11.3%. The fastest and largest increases coming from the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities, some seeing as high as a 74.5% increase. The face of Minnesota's job seekers and professionals will look much different than it is currently. It's important for employers to develop strategies for reaching out to these talent pools.

    Join us for an in depth discussion on diversity recruiting and hiring in today's workforce. Hear from employers on their strategies for recruiting from these communities including successes, setbacks, and advice for future recruiting. While the topic of diversity recruiting and hiring isn't a new to workforce development, applying the best strategies and practices can be a challenge. Advancing workplace diversity is more important today than ever before.

    Guest Presenters
    Additional Workshop Resources

    Building Inclusion: Preparing For and Retaining a Diverse Workforce - July 7, 2021

    Join us to learn how rural communities in Northwest Minnesota are engaging with business to address hidden bias in the workplace, recognizing inclusive employers and connecting them with diverse talent pools. Chet Bodin leads July's webinar as we talk about the Inclusive Workforce Employer (I-WE) Designation and the Community Workforce Inclusion Council (CWIC). A Community Workforce Inclusion Council (CWIC) brings together a diverse group of community members to provide feedback to area employers as they develop inclusive workforce practices, in effect improving long-term employment outcomes. Employers who engage with CWICs and demonstrate an inclusive culture are recognized with the Inclusive Workforce Employer (I-WE) Designation. Recognized I-WE employers are promoted as such within the communities and networks represented by the CWIC.

    Additional Workshop Resources

    Tapping Into Today's Workforce - June 2, 2021

    This session will focus on navigating through the needs of today's workforce and highlight best practices from around the state showcasing ways in which employers have pivoted to meet those needs. We will also share strategies to connect with your potential workforce in a time when face-to-face opportunities are limited and often time prevented.