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'Wadena County is Calling' goes live

The resource guide of Wadena County hopes to attract and retain people to live and work in the county.

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A postcard highlights the new "Wadena County is Calling" initiative launched in November 2022.
Contributed by Economic Alliance
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WADENA — The Economic Alliance, in partnership with Wadena County, has launched a resident recruitment campaign aimed at attracting newcomers to the region. The campaign, called "Wadena County is Calling," shares and celebrates the many reasons why "Wadena County is Minnesota’s greatest frontier," according to an Economic Alliance news release.

The campaign targets two primary audiences– rural rebounders and remote workers. Rural rebounders are those who grew up in Wadena County and moved away to attend college or start their career. They understand and appreciate the region but may not know how to logistically move back.

“I have had so many conversations with folks visiting for the holidays or summer festivals that would love to move back but just don’t know if it is a realistic option. By sharing the community's housing, employment, and recreation opportunities, we can help them make this dream a reality,” stated Katie Heppner, Executive Director of the Economic Alliance.

Remote workers are those who can live anywhere there is high-speed internet, and their careers are not location-dependent. “The pandemic definitely made more people in larger cities appreciate rural lifestyles. One of the greatest assets of Wadena County is the availability of high-speed internet. You can live on 40 acres of land and still have broadband,” Heppner continued.

The campaign offers several resources for those seeking to answer the call of Wadena County.

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The website wadenacountyiscalling.com features key information to help turn newcomers into neighbors. The first section of the site is an Employer Connection page. This page features Wadena County employers who are open to being proactively contacted about potential job opportunities. The Employer Connection aims to provide a “warm handshake” introduction to job-seekers and provide more in-depth information on area employers. The second section of the site features a printable New Neighbor Thrival Guide . The thrival guide has need-to-know connections for newcomers to help them settle in and become more connected in the community. The next two sections of the website feature a link to a search of jobs throughout Wadena County and a link to a search of residential property in Wadena County, respectively.

Lastly, the “Answering the Call” section features personal stories from people who have moved to Wadena County. The purpose of these stories is to help make the move to the region more relatable and realistic.

Beyond the website, the campaign has also launched new social media pages to regularly share information on Wadena County and connect with newcomers on a deeper level. Wadena County is Calling can be connected with on Facebook , and soon, Instagram and LinkedIn.

“These social media pages allow us to proactively communicate and celebrate the great things about our communities. This will allow us to engage and form relationships with neighbors and newcomers on a deeper level,” said Heppner.

Heppner sees this residential recruitment campaign as a way to combat the ongoing workforce shortage.
“The number of help-wanted signs and open positions throughout the county is startling. We need new people to fill these positions and to grow our local economy. Wadena County shouldn’t be Minnesota’s best-kept secret– this is a beautiful community with so much to offer.”

Funding for Wadena County is Calling comes from Wadena County, Sourcewell, Todd Wadena Electric Co-Op, and the Economic Alliance. The Economic Alliance is the economic development corporation that serves Wadena County with the mission to give a voice to the economic and business interests of Wadena County and surrounding communities by providing educational, networking, and advocacy resources and opportunities. To learn more about Wadena County is Calling or the Economic Alliance, contact Executive Director Katie Heppner at wceda@wcta.net .

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