Photo: lincoln-log via flickr
One of the least populated states is making the jobs market look like a joke right now, writes Edward Gordon in Human Capital League.People from everywhere–mainly California, Texas, Florida, and nearby states like Iowa–are flocking to the state, which has grown 5% since 2000 and boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, 3.5%.
Currently, there are 16,500 vacant jobs for the taking, so the state is doing something right. Here’s a look:
- In the 80s, State Senator Karen Kresback saw the state’s population declining due to farm consolidation and mechanization of agriculture, so she stepped in to transform the economy and workforce with smart, well-funded initiatives. Vision 2000 brought diversity to the state, and the Committee of 100’s initiatives have boosted residents’ job skills and education.
- Clever partnerships with businesses and local communities also helped. Career academies, training centres, and colleges were established, bringing instruction to rural areas, the unemployed, needy parents, and students.
- North Dakota takes education really seriously. 80 per cent of its students graduate high school, and most (41%) reach proficient level in test subjects like maths. But 80% isn’t good enough, and the author says the state is constantly coming up with ways to take that rate to 100%.
Being proactive, collaborating with businesses and local communities, and taking a serious stance on education has put North Dakota ahead of the jobs game. The rest of the country had better take notes.