"During Magnetation’s formative stages and at other crucial junctures in our initial development, IEDC staff put in considerable time and commitment in helping us succeed. They not only helped us to secure governmental assistances like JOBZ, DEED financing and Iron Range Resource funding, but they also provided counsel and help with marketing and strategic issues. We very much appreciate the help we have received to date from IEDC."
Michael Anderson, President and Michael Stiglich, Vice President Midwest Manufacturing & Mechanical, Inc.
High Performing, Available Workforce
The area boasts a high performing, available workforce with 18% of Itasca County’s population earning a bachelor’s degree or higher and a large pool of young adults anxious to return home when job opportunities become available. There is an estimated population of 91,000 over age 16 within a 50 mile radius of Grand Rapids. The labor force in that area is estimated at 52,000.
Performance Plus: A recent study commissioned by Wells Fargo concluded that its Northeast Minnesota workforce was 25% more productive than most of its other customer service operations nationwide.
Current unemployment rates can be found at www.positivelyminnesota.com.
Wage rates in northeastern Minnesota compare favorably with Minnesota averages
|Median Wage, Fourth Quarter 2011||Arrowhead||Minnesota|
|Architecture and Engineering Occupations||$31.46/hr||$33.07/hr|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||$24.32/hr||$29.01/hr|
|Computer and Mathematical Occupations||$27.45/hr||$36.23/hr|
|Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations||$28.53/hr||$31.46/hr|
|Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations||$26.73/hr||$29.14/hr|
|Office and Administrative Support Occupations||$14.51/hr||$16.63/hr||Production Occupations||$18.09/hr||$16.32/hr||Sales and Related Occupations||$10.65/hr||$12.90/hr||Total All Occupations||$15.91/hr||$17.94/hr|
Demonstrated Education/Business Partnerships
Itasca Community College (ICC) has an excellent working relationship with area industry. Partnering with UPM Blandin, the University of MN and the National Science Foundation, ICC offers 2 programs in pulp and paper technology. ICC also has an applied science degree in Industrial Technology-Power Generation. In partnership with MN Power and other local energy companies, this program was developed to address anticipated workforce shortages in this industry. The students completing this program will be proficient in the skills necessary for 21st century power generation, including a fundamental knowledge of renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind and solar.
ICC is also home to an innovative model for engineering education based on an engineering learning community (students share dorm rooms on the top floor of the engineering building), and project/site based applied learning at various companies in the area. Many of the students graduating from ICC’s program choose to stay in northern Minnesota and enroll in the Iron Engineering Program. Through this program students work for various area mining companies while completing their last two-years of a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mankato State University. This is a benefit to area industry to have a local supply chain of degreed engineers, rather than having to recruit them from outside.
The Minnesota DEED Job Skills Partnership Program, whose purpose is to act as a catalyst between business and education in developing cooperative projects to provide training for new jobs or retained employees, is a potential source of up to $400,000 in grant funds. Itasca Community College has an excellent working knowledge of the Job Skills Partnership Program with over $624,000 in grants awarded recently for training programs done in partnership with two area businesses, including Blandin Paper Company. This program requires matching funds from the business entity on a one-to-one ratio.
Bachelor’s Degree in Business Available in Grand Rapids
Itasca Community College (ICC) in Grand Rapids offers an Associate in Science degree in Business Administration Management. This program is fully articulated with the College of St. Scholastica’s Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration which is offered on the ICC campus. Professors from the College of St. Scholastica travel to Grand Rapids to teach the 3rd and 4th year courses. Students receive the benefit of being able to obtain a four year degree in Business without leaving home.
|City of Grand Rapids - Demographic Report|
|2010 Estimated Population||15 Mile
|2010 Labor Force Status|
|In Armed Forces||5||8|
|Not In Labor Force||9,185||16,198|
|2010 Educational Attainment-Ages 25+|
|Less than 9th Grade||480||843|
|Some High School (No diploma)||809||1,899|
|High School Grad or GED||6,800||12,254|
|Some College (No Degree)||5,561||9,294|