Otter Tail County and Otter Tail Lakes Country Association (OTLCA) are excited to announce the launch of a new countywide job portal. The job portal will connect jobseekers and people looking to move to the area with opportunities in the area. It automatically collects the more than 1,000 available jobs from employers in Otter Tail County into one feed, providing a one-stop shop for people to find opportunities that match the career they are looking for.
The job portal is a partnership between the county and OTLCA and also includes workforce partners and local employers to collaborate on solutions to the workforce needs in the county. The idea for an aggregated job portal was developed last summer when the county began discussing COVID-19 recovery initiatives to help people return to work and close the workforce shortage that existed before the pandemic. Recent data shows that while the unemployment rate in the county has returned to prepandemic levels, there has been a reduction in the available labor force. A reduction was expected due to the continued aging of the overall population and individuals stepping out of the labor force to fill caregiving needs during the pandemic. However, this reduction means the shortage of workers is now more severe than before the pandemic. This countywide job portal will help fill these needs by reaching an audience of potential workers inside and outside the county who may be looking for a new opportunity or a place to relocate.
Otter Tail County’s Rural Rebound Initiative coordinator, Erik Osberg, believes that the portal will be another way to deliver the message that Otter Tail County is a great place to live and work. “Part of my job is to rewrite the traditional rural narrative that rural areas are dying. Talking about 1,000 opportunities for people to find work in addition to our outdoor recreation and welcoming communities will help people realize why Otter Tail County could be a great fit. They can pursue a fulfilling career and live the lifestyle they can’t find anywhere else,” Osberg said.
Marie Noplos, marketing and membership director for OTLCA, said, “The job portal is a great asset for our members and the hundreds of employers looking for workers. It will provide a streamlined process to post a job opening and let potential employees know they are hiring. Currently, every time an employer has an opening, they post it to their website and send the information to other partners and platforms. Now, there will be one central location for the information. This tool will help us highlight our region."
Having so many opportunities in one location will increase the number of people that can be reached over what an employer can do on its own. Users of the portal can find jobs in manufacturing, health care, construction, education, hospitality and so many other industries, making it easy to find an opportunity for an individual or for a whole family planning to move to the county.