News

Finding employees a struggle for some rural businesses

Mon 6-10-2019

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. (AP) — Rural communities in Minnesota are scrambling to recruit and retain workers as baby boomers reach retirement age.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports that electronic component distributor Digi-Key is among the companies testing innovative strategies to attract workers at all stages of their lives.

The Thief River Falls business plans to add 1,000 new jobs over the next 10 years. The expansion plans come during a decade when Pennington County's over-65 population is estimated to rise from about 18% to 27%.

Digi-Key pitches higher starting salaries and low-cost health insurance. But the distributor also offers flexible schedules, training, an onsite medical office and buses from Crookston and Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Human resources leader Shane Zutz says Digi-Key is looking for ways to provide more flexibility as workers move on in their careers.