Workforce Retention

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Workforce Retention

Our organization works hard to attract talent to the region to support primary-sector company success. And once we attract people to the market, it’s critical to give them every reason to stay. We collaborate with partner organizations and companies to support that work.

A Culture that Attracts and Keeps Talent

In 2023, GFMEDC continued to conceptualize and build out a Company Culture Program. Supported by funds from the North Dakota Regional Workforce Impact Program (RWIP) Grant, the GFMEDC has engaged local HR Leaders to define a set of criteria and specific measures to create a Company Culture Program that area companies can use to define and show how their culture would attract and retain workers.

Why include company culture in economic development?

Company culture is an important component of talent attraction and retention. Once the program is up and running, companies involved could use the designation to help market themselves to prospective candidates. The program could also be a tool to support business recruitment.

Worforce Retention 1
Area HR leaders meet with GFMEDC staff and consultant Kim Kemmer, Prime 46, as they work on constructing a Company Culture program for the region.

Creating a Litmus Test For Culture

You might call it the “Sunday night test” – it’s how a worker feels (good or bad) knowing they have a full week ahead. While there are many factors that go into that “Sunday night test,” a great company culture goes a long way to keeping an employee excited and engaged. A great culture makes it easier for a company to recruit workers and a cluster of companies with great culture makes it easier to recruit people to the region.

So, what defines a great company culture? How does a company determine they have it? How do other companies get it?

Group sessions and one-on-one interviews provided insight into the views of workplace culture. Participants in the sessions described culture as something easier to experience than describe. Trust, respect, innovation and curiosity were frequently selected as words that described participants’ company culture.

”We know that there are regional companies whose employees love going to work every day thanks to their culture. Our goal is to shine a light on those employers and let people know that culture is something that the employers of this region value,” Tifanie Gelinske, Sr. VP Workforce Development, GFMEDC.

Communicating the Strength of the Community-Campus FM


A strong economic foundation includes a healthy workforce. Strategies to build a regional workforce include both workforce attraction and workforce retention. With several higher education institutions in the FM area, keeping college graduates is an important component. Strong partnerships like Campus FM (led by Folkways) support graduate retention.

In 2023, Campus FM achieved significant milestones, conducting three successful Creatorship Cohorts, a specialized skills training internship tailored for local content creators. These cohorts culminated in the graduation of 11 talented students.


Additionally, Campus FM organized a Summer Intern Experience session, serving as a valuable skill-building internship extension for businesses. This initiative focused on enhancing students’ abilities in portfolio development, effective communication, and community networking. The organization’s commitment to community engagement shone through events like “Study Beats at Jasper Fargo” and campus pop-ups, which directly connected with more than 150 students.

Furthermore, their Instagram account, dedicated to student-focused content, experienced impressive growth, with a 49% increase in followers, boasted more than 1700 engaged members. These achievements underscore Campus FM’s dedication to empowering emerging talent and strengthening community bonds.


The Campus FM concept was originally presented by former Arts Partnership Director, Dayna Del Val. Dayna and GFMEDC CEO, Joe Raso, spearheaded a funding request through Fueling Our Future in 2019 leading to an initial investment. This investment was followed up with a successful funding request through the Chamber Foundation via funding by the North Dakota Department of Commerce’s Workforce Division.

Folkways has served as the developer and implementer of this program in the greater Fargo region from the beginning.

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