Workforce Development

Labor Force Development Council

The west central Minnesota Labor Force Development Council (LFDC) is a voluntary association composed of leaders from business and industry, PreK-12 education, colleges and universities, economic development, government, jobs and training, labor and other organizations that have a critical interest in assuring that the region has a sufficient supply of skilled labor to facilitate long term economic vitality. 

The Council was formed in the mid-1990s to provide networking, strategic initiatives and resource sharing designed to build the skills of the workforce and respond to the emerging needs of employers.This group of dedicated volunteers sponsored events and projects focused on attracting and retaining workers in west central Minnesota. Examples of projects spearheaded by this group include:

  • Older Worker Recruitment brochure
  • Workforce Solutions Conference sponsorship
  • Jobs in Demand data
  • Creation of the Live Wide Open campaign

Today, these professionals are positioned to continue their work and have adopted a new mission statement: "LFDC - a positive, relevant force in the region's workforce development landscape."

The LFDC is working on the following labor force strategies:

  • Inclusive engagement
  • Research proven best practices
  • Deep data dive
  • Communications
  • Clarification of goals and purpose

The council is administratively and financially sponsored by West Central Initiative. The area served by the LFDC includes Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin Counties of Minnesota. The LFDC is always looking for new members to help inform our work. Full council meetings are held at the WCI office six times per year, on the first Monday in February, April, June, August, October and December from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.


  • Generates a vision and plan to assure that the region’s labor supply meets the needs of its economy.  
  • Develops communications systems and promotes cooperation among all of the partners required for coordinated labor force development.  
  • Brings order and direction to efforts to meet labor force needs.  
  • Serves as a "champion" for coordinated regional labor force development.  
  • Encourages organizations to develop programs specifically targeted at meeting the region’s labor force needs. 
  • Provides a networking opportunity for people impacted by today's labor force.

Who should join?

  • Business owners  
  • Job trainers 
  • Educators
  • Economic development professionals
  • Labor organizations
  • City leaders
  • Chambers of commerce executives
  • Anyone interested in labor force issues

2019/2020 Leadership

Chair: Kelley Nowell, Rural MN CEP

Vice Chair: Julie Sachs, State of MN DEED

Planning Team:  Mary Phillipe, Craig Nathan, Amy Feland, Sandy King, Tammy Froemming


The Council establishes work groups as needed to help it address its objectives.

For more information, contact Sandy King, vice president, at, or 800-735-2239.