The next generation of workforce do not approach jobs and careers in the same manner as the preceding generations, but that isn’t a bad thing. They are much more collaborative, look for challenges and want the opportunity to have an experience. The upper Midwest is ripe for this kind of worker. Small business owners are rapidly aging and this creates a fantastic opportunity for the next generation to embrace entrepreneurship.
- Idea #1: Upcoming generations are also looking at how they can participate and make a difference. Rural areas need new ideas, additional motivation, and volunteers in the classrooms and community. When boards or city positions are open, target and boost social media posts about the opening and how to apply, plus details on what is required for the boards and positions.
Millennials and the generations that follow are also much more diverse. According to the US Bureau of Labor, by 2024, 43% of employees are projected to be Hispanics, Asians, or other non-Caucasians. Additionally, by 2024, women will make up 47.2% of the workforce. Both of these points showcase the opportunity to embrace diversity and create employee-friendly workplaces.
- Idea #2: Celebrate food, drink, and music from different areas during public events in the community. Start now by creating opportunities and inviting diverse community members to showcase talents. Host community meals or tasting opportunities where different cultures are encouraged to share their favorite recipes.
Family is also important to the millennial generation. A recent visit in a coffee shop with two millennial families from out of state backed-up this theory. Each of them stated they were looking for a place to call home that was less dense but if they were to settle, it would require the opportunity to be “on the cutting edge” and make a difference.
- Idea #3: Show how families live, work and play in your community. Encourage connections between new families with social media groups, family-friendly activities and low-cost community events. Create welcome packets for new residents that can be delivered by people who have lived in the community for some time. Highlight the technology and growth opportunities in your workplaces.
Ask yourself what are we taking for granted in our rural communities that may attract the next generation of employees and business owners? For instance in North Dakota, it is the state’s commitment and access to technology.
- Idea #4: Be sure to highlight the accessibility and availability of connectivity and technology infrastructure in your community and region. Utilize a state map for reference. For North Dakota towns, talking points and social media should include the fact that 90.2% of the population has access to 100 Mbps or faster, 100% of the population has access to mobile broadband, and 92% of the population has access to broadband.