Looming workforce shortage demands creative solutions for attracting talent


The need to attract and retain top talent in the Twin Cities market is significant given thousands of baby boomers will retire over the next decade leaving job openings and opportunities for the next generation of workers. In Minnesota there is a heightened sense of urgency: experts predict that there will be at least 300,000 professional job openings by 2024 and not enough qualified workers to fill them. Developing local talent as well as attracting and retaining people is critical to maintaining a vibrant economy.

In our experiences, it’s not uncommon to hear comments from interns or other young talented professionals like, “I want my first or next job to be in a city like New York or San Francisco.” This underscores the problem we face. The lure of The Big Apple and big fast-paced tech companies keep some people yearning to stretch their wings beyond the Twin Cities

So how do we sell the value of living in Minnesota when we don’t have mountains, oceans or skyscrapers? Just what are our competitive advantages besides lakes? How do we make the value proposition “stickier” for staying in the Twin Cities when one’s internship concludes? How can we demonstrate our amazing culture to a point where they want to stay and be a part of it?


Selling our unique culture

According to the regional Minneapolis and St. Paul economic development organization, GreaterMSP, the Twin Cities region is consistently ranked as one of the best places to do business. A diverse and highly educated workforce, a thriving community and nonprofit sector, and a network of some of the world's biggest, most respected companies helps reinforce this ranking.

Not every metro can brag about its most respected companies. This is a reflection of who we are as Minnesotans. From the Keystone Program, which recognizes hundreds of companies who donate two percent of their pre-tax earnings, to our statewide tradition of giving to the max, to the Twin Cities’ status as the #1 metro region for volunteering, we have unique and synergistic relationships that strengthen and enhance the public, private and social sector.

Globally, consumer and employee expectations for companies to address social issues are increasing. Corporate social responsibility is now a strategic business initiative for attracting and retaining employees and clients; the majority of consumers now report making purchasing, job and investment decisions based on a company’s commitment to social issues. For millennial workers who see that the consequences of inaction could be revealed in their lifetimes, the imperative to be more socially involved is high.


More than a happy hour

Recognizing that first impressions matter, the Corporate Volunteer Council Twin Cities (CVC-TC) organizes an annual volunteer event for our corporate interns. CVC-TC is a professional organization consisting of corporate and nonprofit members—all of whom promote and grow workplace volunteerism throughout the community. Through the shared activity of meaningful work, the volunteer event helps create bonds and memories that will last longer than a summer job. Many interns have shared that this event is the highlight of their summer.

Last summer, more than 100 corporate interns from several companies volunteered together to help alleviate global hunger. Building on the momentum from 2017, this July 19, CVCTC will convene even more companies to multiply our impact as well as give participants a unique chance to volunteer and network with other young talent in the Twin Cities.

From highlighting a local nonprofit with global impact—MATTER—to spotlighting the breadth of corporate powerhouses that call the Twin Cities home, the benefits of this event are wide. We are also excited to hold this event at Target Field, yet another way we are showcasing the best of best of our fair cities. Thanks to the participating companies who will send over 500 interns to serve together:

  • Land o Lakes
  • Boston Scientific
  • Accenture
  • H.B. Fuller
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • C.H. Robinson
  • Ameriprise
  • Target
  • Best Buy

See these great interns in action July 19 on Facebook and Twitter.

Using volunteerism to strengthen connections is one way we can foster a stickier value proposition for the Twin Cities. Because, let’s face it, in our networked community, collaboration lifts our everyone.

Sarah Richter - Senior Manager, Community Relations, Ameriprise Financial
Jenny Moe - Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Target Corporation