from ND COMPASS         
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.
North Dakota's Workforce Landscape
The rapidly changing economy requires a well-educated and highly skilled workforce that responds to employers' needs and to changing economic conditions.  
Demographic changes in North Dakota are reshaping the workforce. "Baby boomers" continued to reach retirement age and young people continued to move to North Dakota seeking employment, which contributed to making North Dakota the fourth youngest state in the nation, with a median age of 34.9 in 2014. The population in entry and prime labor force (25 to 44 years old) has seen a substantial increase of 15 percent from 2010 to 2014 and is projected to increase in a similar manner through 2020.

One key to a vibrant and successful workforce is education and skilled labor certification, which provides social, civic, and personal development in addition to workforce development. As the economy changes and grows, the demand for workers prepared at all educational levels will continue to grow. In North Dakota, as the population between age 25 and 34 years  continued to increase, the proportion of those with a bachelor's degree or higher (for age 25-34) decreased between 2012 and 2013 (from 35.3 to 31.3 percent). In 2013, the proportion of those in ND with a bachelor's degree or higher (age 25-34) fell below the U.S. average of 32.9 percent. 
Higher education and skilled labor certification attainment results in greater individual earnings and helps ensure workers' preparedness for an increasingly complex working environment. Research suggests that individuals with higher levels of education are better able to compete for high-quality jobs and more likely to obtain jobs with better working conditions, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.

Investment in higher education is a priority in North Dakota, and the North Dakota University System (NDUS) is focusing on creating opportunities for student success. To accomplish that, NDUS outlined its direction in a strategic plan that includes a framework for transformational change within the university system and created an interactive dashboard to monitor its success. Read this month's Ask a Researcher column that explains how the NDUS Edge 2015-2020 Strategic Plan Dashboards increase transparency and accessibility to reporting.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Dakota ranked number one in the nation in regards to low unemployment with a rate of 2.8 percent in September 2015. While this is a good sign for the economy, many businesses, agencies, and programs throughout the state are struggling with workforce shortages. This month's  For Discussion  article highlights some of the challenges the North Dakota Head Start organization currently encounters due to worker shortages. 

For Discussion
Vibrant Economy Leads to Workforce Shortages - Head Start Programs Statewide Are Feeling the Impact
Join the North Dakota Head Start Program Directors and the North Dakota Head Start Association Director as they provide some insight into the impact and challenges their programs are facing due to statewide worker shortages. 

Ask a Researcher
A Bold New Direction for the North Dakota University System - The NDUS Edge Dashboards
With a mission of "unleashing potential" and a vision of "inspiring our future," the State Board of Higher Education officially approved The North Dakota University System (NDUS) Edge, a five-year strategic plan that includes a framework for transformational change within the NDUS. The NDUS Edge consists of four goals, which are tied to indicators. Jennifer Weber from the North Dakota University System highlights the NDUS Edge Dashboards, which include data from the indicators associated with The NDUS Edge's goals. 

Read More.
A NEW Resource for ND Cities!
The North Dakota Compass Project is excited to introduce 
for ND cities with populations of 1,000 or more! 

Stay tuned for the unveiling of these profiles in 
EARLY 2016!

Giving Thanks!
Grateful for your support!
The ND Compass Project provides everyone throughout the state unbiased and reliable data and information to improve their communities, business, and/or organization. We couldn't provide this information without the support of our great funders and members! We also want to give a special thanks to our Steering Committee, Advisory Committee, and Technical Working Groups for investing their time, talent, and ideas in the project.