Nobles County Council talks workforce development and retention – Reuters

WORTHINGTON — While the Nobles County Board of Commissioners took action on a number of issues on Tuesday, many of them centered on ongoing labor issues not only affecting southwestern Minnesota , but also many other regions.

“We have two vacancies in our eligible worker units, and now we have a third person who has accepted another job more in line with their passion and career path,” said County Community Services Director Stacie Golombiecki. of Nobles. “It’s a part-time position, so she’s willing to stay with us for a while.”

Golombiecki requested that Community Services be allowed to retain this employee on a one-fifth or two-fifths basis and continue to try to fill full-time vacancies.

Commissioners approved of the idea, and Commissioner Justin Ahlers asked if the tactic could be used for other county positions. Phased retirement was also mentioned as an option.

The Employee Welfare and Recognition Committee proposed that the board allow employees to dress in festive attire for special events and holidays to boost morale.

The council approved the measure until the end of the current year as a test, so county employees can wear cancer awareness shirts on October 21 and 28 and can dress up for Halloween, with county administrator’s approval.

However, general workplace suitability standards must be met, and employees whose attire falls outside this limit may be sent home by supervisors to change. Additionally, some department heads may remove their department from party dress.

Carrie Bendix, executive director of the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council, reported that a life skills event for students is coming, as is Major Madness, which is aimed at first-generation college students, and a life skills fair. for high school students to connect with local employers. Coordination of job shadowing and work with the freshman career class continues.

Bendix also said five or six people work with the council through Minnesota West Community & Technical College to obtain commercial driver licenses.

In other news Tuesday, the county council:

  • Passed a resolution condemning government efforts that harm Nobles County’s agricultural sector, such as the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s “Meatless Monday” social media initiative.
  • Approved the Des Moines River Watershed Joint Powers Agreement. Part of Nobles County lies within this watershed, which is developing a unified watershed plan. The board also approved submission of the plan to the Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources.
  • Learned that the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council won an award from the Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards for its community interpreter program.
  • Approval of the purchase of a vehicle for community services to replace a 2014 Dodge Caravan and place it on the list of surplus properties to be sold at auction. The cost of the new vehicle must not exceed $43,000.
  • Approved changes to the county’s investment policy, allowing the county to purchase CDs insured by the National Credit Union Administration as well as the FDIC, and removing language that requires hand delivery of CDs to banks, as this is usually done using secure technology instead.
  • Approved the purchase of 30 chairs for the audience in the council chamber and four additional chairs for the council table, at a cost of $6,223.33. The current chairs were original to the building and date from the 1970s.
  • Appointed Stacy Fricke to the Staff Appeals Board.

Michael A. Bynum