The Southwest Minnesota Workforce Development Board continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the region’s employers and workforce. From March 16 – April 23, 2020, over 8,800 residents have applied for unemployment in the 14-county region of southwest Minnesota. DEED has developed a new page on their website to track the number of unemployment applications in the state:

To better understand and address the current workforce development needs of employers in southwest Minnesota, we are reaching out to gather feedback regarding virtual services that would be useful during this challenging time. Please complete this short COVID-19 Employer Survey (takes 2 minutes-5 questions).

For additional information regarding employees returning to work after the Stay-At-Home Order, re-employment assistance for permanently laid off staff, the state’s free online job bank that is used by individuals receiving unemployment insurance and the Shared Work Program, please click here.

Even though it seems much longer, it was just two months ago that we met for the Southwest Minnesota Regional Workforce Development Forums. Thank you again for all of that attended and provided input during these important meetings. As you know, so much has changed since then. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has postponed the deadline for the Regional and Local Workforce Development plans until April 2021 so that the plan can reflect the impact of COVID-19 on our local economy and workforce development needs. Look for more information to come. To see the Executive Summary of the survey and results of the Regional Forums as well as the labor market information that was presented by Cameron Macht from DEED, please click here.