The 2025 Workforce and Recruitment Program - Keeping the workforce in town!

The 2025 Workforce and Recruitment Program - Keeping the workforce in town! Main Photo

27 Aug 2021


A skilled workforce is the vital backbone of a community. With skilled labor considered to be one of the key drivers in site selection decisions, companies today are looking at more than just a dense labor pool; they need access to a workforce that possesses just the right skills to fill in demand jobs. 

The Forward Devils Lake 2025 Makes a Diverse Economic Impact

Businesses continually face a challenge in putting together a skilled labor pool.  Throughout small town North Dakota, there is a continuous erosion of labor, as students move out of their hometowns, and pursue higher education in colleges and schools across the country. Most of these students never return to their communities. Losing their youth to the bigger cities and other states has been a growing problem and sadly, it is happening every day. Smaller towns are painfully witnessing a depletion of human resources and young talent.

Determined to resolve this challenge, Forward Devils Lake Corporation launched the 2025 Workforce and Recruitment Program, a unique incentive that works towards pairing up students with businesses who will sponsor them, a kind of a reward, to stay back, and work within the community. 

How it works:

The student will be reimbursed by Forward Devils Lake Corporation and participating businesses for up to 80% of the cost of annual tuition/room/meals of an approved 1 or 2-year Technical College program:

  • Forward Devils Lake gives $6,000 to a student in the form of a scholarship.
  • The state matches it to create a $12,000 scholarship. The state also has a loan repayment program that pays up to $17,000 if they move to the area, approved four-year degrees are also eligible.
  • The business is required to match the $12,000. This comes in the form of reimbursement as the student works for their business over a 3 year period. 
  • The total grant to a student is $24,000.

High school students are motivated to take part in this program. And, for many of them, it’s a game changer for their future earning capacity. Recently, a recent local HS graduate who was working as a construction laborer was sponsored towards getting an Automotive Technician certification. He says that the training changed his career path and redefined his earning trajectory.

Skilled labor and enhanced retention- A program for the community

Presently, the 2025 Workforce and Recruitment Program is generating a lot of interest within the communities. At Forward Devils Lake, the target is to reach out to young students and to fill up core jobs. The belief is that the wheels of the economy have to keep turning, and it is ultimately the mechanic, the technician, or the plumber, who is always in demand and helps a business to grow and thrive. 

This is what Renard Bergstrom, the owner of a local car dealership has to say about the program, and about Alex Lowery, a newly sponsored employee:
“The Forward Devils Lake 2025 Workforce program has been a great resource for  Bergstrom Cars, allowing us to assist current and future team members to receive an education that will make them a valuable member of the work force.  It has allowed Bergstrom Cars, and the lake region to make advances that will secure and strengthen our workforce. Alex was a great choice for the program.  He has proven to be an excellent technician and addition to our team.  We look forward to utilizing the program in the future to continue to build our team and our community.”

As the Program gains momentum, it has already received encouragement from the state of North Dakota. Forward Devils Lake is optimistic about its efficacy, as it has clearly seen a growing need, and in return, has come up with a creative solution - an incentive program that showcases the value of a skilled worker to the community, and creates an aggregation of labor while helping to retain precious, trainable talent within the community. 

Interested students and business owners who wish to participate in the program can contact Forward Devils Lake at

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