Dec. 13 Forum to Focus on Workforce Retention & Attraction

Best practices in retaining and attracting employees will be the focus of an informational forum to be held in Mandan on Monday, Dec. 13. The free “lunch and learn” session runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Baymont Inn, 2611 Old Red Trail. For program details and to register, visit or call 667-3478.

The informational session is for small business owners and managers seeking information on topics such as labor force participation and wage rates plus inspiration and best practices for keeping, developing and finding great employees.

The keynote speaker on the subject of recruiting and retention through community building is Watford City Rough Rider Center and Community Enhancement Director Pat Bertagnolli. His experiences include 22 years with UPS in workforce planning and employee relations as well as nearly a decade in the western North Dakota energy sector. Comprehensive and creative in his approach to human resources, Bertagnolli believes the state is at its best when people and organizations accentuate “North Dakota Nice” and focus on mentoring and giving back, which in turn, create great experiences for employees and their families.

North Dakota Job Service Workforce Services Director Phil Davis and Bismarck Workforce Center Manager Amy Arenz will share statistical and services available to employers.

Information will be available about local and state programs including job shadowing, internships, apprenticeships, and student loan reimbursement and scholarship matching funds.

“If area businesses could ask for one gift this holiday season, most would ask for more employees,” notes Mandan Bennigan’s restaurant co-owner Rob Knoll, who also serves as chair of the Mandan Tomorrow – Economic Opportunity and Prosperity Committee.

The committee is hosting the forum with coordination services from the Mandan Business Development and Communications Department and Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC.

Sponsors of the business education activity are: Bank of North Dakota, BNC National Bank, Bravera, Bremer Bank, Capital Credit Union, Cornerstone Bank, Dakota Business Lending, Dakota Community Bank and Trust, Daniel Companies, First International Bank and Trust, First Western Bank and Trust, Gate City Bank, Goodhart and Associates, Haga Kommer CPAs, Lewis and Clark Development Group, Railway Credit Union, Rise Property Brokers, Security First Bank, Starion Bank, The CRA Group and Wells Fargo Bank.

The workshop is part of an ongoing series of business education and outreach activities. Other upcoming events include a Business Start-Up 101 workshop on Nov. 17 and Business Pitch Challenge on March 23, 2022. Learn more at