Highlights of Rural Minnesota CEP’s 2023 Legislative Open House Events

Highlights of Rural Minnesota CEP’s 2023 Legislative Open House Events Main Photo

5 Apr 2024

Throughout October and November of last year, Rural Minnesota CEP held a Legislative Open House event at each of our CareerForce locations. Each Center had a similar event to showcase what we do to help with grants and funding. We invited many local legislators, community leaders, staff, and several individuals who benefited from our programs and services. The formats of the events differed across locations.

All were welcome to attend and learn more about the positive impacts of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) on our communities. Plus, employers spoke about incumbent worker training.

welcome to the open house!

Open House Event Activities Across CareerForce Locations

“It started with a social hour with snacks and drinks, open house and tours,” said Billie Jo Greene, Team Leader of Rural Minnesota CEP CareerForce Bemidji. “This led to a round table event where information about our services was shared.”

Twelve individuals attended the 2023 Legislative Open House roundtable at the Rural Minnesota CEP CareerForce Bemidji office. Guests included the Sheriff and a couple of his deputies, the police department, Beltrami County Jail deputies, Beltrami County Workforce Impact, Bemidji Area Schools, Beltrami County Commissioners, and Rural Minnesota CEP staff from various offices.

“Then we had a question-and-answer time slot at the end,” Greene said. “It was well received.”

The Rural Minnesota CEP Wadena location invited community members, state officials, and, of course, their very own team was included. They had success stories, businesses that have had successful Incumbent Worker Training (IWT), and school officials.

yummy cake!
the team
white board

Key Moments and Special Guests

When the Rural Minnesota CEP Little Falls location hosted their Legislative Open House Event, they had 19 guests attend, plus several Rural Minnesota CEP Little Falls team members, for a grand total of 25 in attendance.

“Some highlights were Mandy Heffron representing Congresswoman Fischbach, MC Commissioner Jeff Jelinski, Sandy Voigt from our board and Women’s Business Alliance, Morrison County Staff, and more,” said Samantha Froelich, Team Leader of Rural Minnesota CEP Little Falls. “I presented on Rural Minnesota CEP and available services.”

The event included a tour of the career lab and training facilities and success story speeches directly from individuals and business owners who had partnerships with Rural Minnesota CEP. Mike Fisher spoke about the Re-Entry Grant and Career Advising Services. Guest speakers and testimonials included Tom Smude from Smude Oil (IWT & WT site), Marc Sorensen from LakeShirts (OJTs with IWCO), Alicia Rufus (prior MFIP client), and testimonial from Zach Becker (successful Adult client/school funding).

“Overall, we felt it was quite successful and an opportune networking event,” Froelich said.

Similarly, the Brainerd location Career Force’s event had 16 guests, in addition to the Brainerd Team.

“We were delighted to welcome Crow Wing County Commissioner Rosemary Franzen;  Baxter Mayor Darrel Olson; Essentia Health Workforce Director Kathy Cottew; RMCEP Board Member/CLC Dean of Technical Services Rebekah Kent; our featured speakers Frank Dircks (Owner of Frank Dircks Construction Company), Melanie Clemmer (CWC Social Worker), and Preston Newgord (Owner-PJ’s Automotive and Diesel Repair); and many other directors and officers of organizations we partner with regularly,” said Tim Swanson, formerTeam Leader at the Brainerd office of Rural Minnesota CEP.

Working for Continuous Progress in Rural Minnesota

Rural Minnesota CEP’s Legislative Open House events at the Alexandria, Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes career centers were well attended. While attendance at the Moorhead location event was limited due to an ice storm, the Mayor of Moorhead and a Council member braved the weather to participate! Overall, the 2023 Rural Minnesota CEP Legislative Open House events were an outstanding success.

You can learn more about Rural Minnesota CEP on our website. For more details, please call us at (218) 846-7400 or email us via our online form.