Video by Joe Fairbanks
NORTHFORCE – Your Talent Community
In Duluth and the Surrounding Region
In a world where social media is king, many look to well-established websites like Indeed or Monster to recruit talent or search for their next job. But these conglomerates simply can’t – and don’t - offer that personal touch.
But this is Duluth. We are “Minnesota nice,” after all. Things are done a little differently here.
Enter NORTHFORCE. According to Cara Overland, the group’s Twin Ports and Northwestern Wisconsin Strategy & Development Consultant, NORTHFORCE is “A community-supported program that helps retain and recruit talent in the Northland. This includes a ten-county area including the Twin Ports, Iron Range, and Northwestern Wisconsin.”
The organization was founded in 2014, and is based in Duluth. It is a program of Northspan, an economic development organization.
Highly Personal Service
Each person who reaches out to NORTHFORCE, whether a human resources professional, business owner, or job-seeker, will receive a personal e-mail from Overland. She will ask personal, individualized questions about the person’s goals, including a friendly offer to help.
Overland is no doubt an expert in her field. After all, she is a success story herself. “I found this very position on NORTHFORCE,” she shared. “So, I’m a case study and a testimonial myself.”
Options for Job Seekers and Employers Alike
Overland gave a bit more insight into what NORTHFORCE has to offer. “NORTHFORCE helps employers post positions on our job board, and also helps candidates register and create a profile, upload their resume, and get connected with available positions in our area,” she said. “We bridge the gap between employers and candidates.”
Each of the consultants on the NORTHFORCE team are highly familiar with the region and all it has to offer. As such, NORTHFORCE consultants are some of the area’s biggest cheerleaders.
“One of the unique things about NORTHFORCE and our consultants is that we are from the communities we represent,” Overland, who is from Duluth, said. “Duluth is magical,” she added. “It’s a fantastic-sized city. We have incredible employers here, along with our green spaces and natural landscape. People come here on vacation and fall in love with it, and I’m here to help them move here if that’s what they want to do.”
Any Job; Any Company Size
NORTHFORCE can assist people who are seeking any sort of work, whether full-time, part-time, seasonal work, an internship, or freelance gigs. All fields and business segments are represented, too; including health care, hospitality, manufacturing, and many more.
“Whether you’re a big, small, or mid-size business, you get the same attention from me as a consultant, and NORTHFORCE as an organization,” Overland said, adding, “Whether you need a line-level employee or a CEO, we can help you find those people.”
One of the ways NORTHFORCE makes successful employer-employee “matches” is through their partnerships with local colleges, universities, and technical schools – in what they call their “Student Connect” program.
For instance, Andrea Chartier is a Career Counselor at the College of St. Scholastica (CSS), and regularly relies on NORTHFORCE services to help her students find employment or internships. “Our partnership with NORTHFORCE has allowed us to really be intentional in supporting the students who want Duluth to be their home, or who want Duluth to be their next step, and need some help building those bridges and connections to employers,” she said.
Chartier also works with CSS alumni, too; many of whom have moved away and are looking to return.
Along with Overland, Chartier is also a huge cheerleader for living – and working – in Duluth and the surrounding region. “I call myself a ‘boomerang Duluthian,’” she said with a laugh. “I grew up in Duluth, and have lived in California, Utah, and Minneapolis, but ultimately decided to come back.”
“It’s an ideal place to raise kids,” she said. “You can be at a park, beach, or forest every day, and you’re not surrounded by hordes of people.”
“You can be a big fish in a small pond here in Duluth,” she added. “I felt I could really make some magic happen here in a way I never felt I could in a big city. It’s such a special, magical place in so many ways. There are a lot of opportunities, a lot of internships, and amazing possibilities.”
Whether you are a job-seeker, or need to find the perfect candidate to fill a role at your business, NORTHFORCE can help. Please visit northforce.org to learn more.