An effort to bring back ALHS alumni

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 14, 2002

Representatives from the City of Albert Lea are eagerly preparing for our meeting with the Ford Motor Company. We are coordinating our efforts with the Minnesota Department of Trade & Economic Development to discuss community amenities, infrastructure, incentives and labor with company representatives.

We know the warehouse/distribution center proposed would create new good waged jobs, would jumpstart the Habben Industrial Park and the Albert Lea area. We are thrilled to be part of this site selection process.

Like in most site searches we are confident labor will be one of the considering factors. Providing a company with sufficient documentation, which demonstrates our workforce quantities and quality is important. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce a new workforce initiative, which will reach Albert Lea High School alumni and connect them to business and employment opportunities in Freeborn County. At the same time it will remind them of the education, recreation and business opportunities we have to offer.

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The concept is similar to attracting and retaining business, with the difference being attraction of young people back to our community, most importantly connecting to alumni who have family living in the area and aspirations to return to their hometown roots. This model has been very effective in attracting new business to cities like Dubuque, Iowa, who have found this a recruiting tool for prospective businesses seeking specific labor skills. This will improve our community’s ability to provide profiles of &uot;real&uot; people who can fill positions required by an incoming or existing business.

Emphasis will be placed on our area’s &uot;Big Town Opportunity, Small Town Character,&uot; targeting alumni who graduated from Albert Lea High School between 1980 and 1995. Our records indicate approximately 3,500 individuals will be reached through this endeavor targeted to launch Nov. 22.

Key to the project’s success will be participation by our employers in Freeborn County to place jobs promoting opportunities to come back home. Targeted Freeborn County businesses will be asked to participate in one of the training sessions on Nov. 6 and 7 at Riverland Community College to learn how to post job opportunities and understand the project’s full scope. We hope you will make this a priority.

Through quarterly postcard mailings to alumni, a new Web site to be available to the public soon ( and consistent follow up with our Albert Lea High School alumni, together we will continue to have the essential systems in place to give us more tools to enhance our ability to attract and recruit business to Freeborn County.

Pam Bishop is executive vice president of Greater Jobs, Inc., an organization dedicated to economic development in Freeborn County.