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Flexible Workplace Initiative



Area Chambers, Tourism, team up in Flexible Workplace Initiative


The Laurentian, Hibbing, and Chisholm Chambers of Commerce, along with Iron Range Tourism, are hoping to help address local labor shortages with a "Flexible Employer" program. 


The program, The program, which was planned with help from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, aims to highlight businesses that offer flexibility to employees in the form of scheduling around children's activities, the ability to work from home, and other family-friendly supports. 


"We know that there are people who want to work, but because they are also caregivers to children, spouses, parents or other loved ones, they need flexible employment," said Teresa Appelwick, Laurentian Chamber of Commerce president. "There are others who are willing to work but may need part or all of that work to be from home. This program is designed to match up employers with employees who may not be looking for a 9-5 office job."


The program also identifies employers who offer benefits such as tuition reimbursement, child care benefits, or other traditional and emerging perks. The Flexible Employer logo may be placed in the window of employers' businesses and/or used on their website and in advertising to identify their commitment to offering family-friendly employment. 


To participate, employers can fill out an online form at the regional talent attraction website, Hello Iron Range,


Businesses may qualify as Flexible Employers by providing one or more benefits such as work hours that end before 10 p.m., school-friendly hours, Employee Assistance Programs, and more. 


Businesses that self-identify as Flexible Employers will receive a window cling for their business, logos for their use in recruiting, and a listing on the Hello Iron Range website. 


“Our business communities recognize the value in offering a flexible work environment,” said Shelly Hanson, Hibbing Chamber of Commerce president. “When it is possible to add this benefit, flexibility increases workforce retention, attraction, and longevity of quality workers.”


Contact for the Flexible Employer program in Buhl, Mountain Iron, Virginia, Eveleth, Biwabik, Gilbert, Aurora, and Hoyt Lakes is Laurentian Chamber of Commerce President Teresa Appelwick:


Contact for the Flexible Employer program in Hibbing is Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce President Shelly Hanson:


Contact in Chisholm is Chisholm Area Chamber of Commerce Director Shannon Kishel-Roche:


Hello Iron Range is a project initiated and managed by Iron Range Tourism with support from a Blandin Broadband grant. Contact person is IRT Executive Director Beth Pierce, 




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