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Fairmont Area Life aims to recruit

FAIRMONT — Resident recruitment and workforce and retention are the main focus of Fairmont Area Life. The initiative is currently working on a resident recruitment campaign that targets the Twin Cities area.

Fairmont Area Life is a partnership with Fairmont Economic Development Authority, Fairmont Area Chamber, Fairmont CER and Pierce Accounting. It is also funded by a large number of sponsors.

Fairmont Area Chamber president Ned Koppen said they reached out to different businesses and told them about Fairmont Area Life and he said the response was really positive.

“Businesses are seeing that value from the recruitment and retention side of things with the workforce shortage. Businesses are seeing value in putting some dollars toward a campaign that focuses on bringing new workforce and families to the community,” said Stephanie Busiahn, CER director.

While Fairmont Area Life has existed for about five years, right now they’re focusing on a digital, targeted-display campaign, in which they’re placing ads to a targeted audience. Koppen said the audience they’re targeting is those in the Twin Cities.

“We felt like people in the metro area, because of social unrest, Covid and all those factors combined, may be looking for a different landing spot. And if they are, let’s make sure they know we’re here and all of the good things about Fairmont and our community,” Koppen said.

Koppen said they’ve determined the demographics they think their best target is, as well as the geographical location and counties in the metro, and then the top websites that that audience would be looking at.

He said when people do click on the ad, it takes them to a landing page on the Fairmont Area Life website which lists the top reasons why someone would want to move to the community. There are other links from that page that takes them into a deeper dive into the community.

“We do know that we’ve had success because we’ve had people who have moved here in the last year and have said that this campaign in part influenced their decision,” Koppen said.

Fairmont Economic Development director Linsey Preuss said with any marketing campaign, the results could be seen in a day or in a year.

Preuss shared some analytics from the last year which showed that 1.5 million people have seen the ad and there have been 1,300 visits to the website. She said analytics on FEDA’s website and the Chamber’s website show an increase in activity from the Twin Cities area, which is what they’re targeting.

“This digital campaign is the first phase but we’ve had other conversations about what other areas in the state might be a good target mark for us,” said Busiahn.

Preuss said they were recently recognized by DEED as one of about a dozen other campaigns trying to recruit residents to a more rural area.

“I would consider our group very innovative across the state. Not a lot of areas are doing things like this. Other communities are looking at us and saying ‘how can we do this, too,'” Preuss said.

Not only is Fairmont Area Life showing people across the state what Fairmont has to offer, it’s also reminding those who live here what’s all available.

Sara Pierce said, “It’s been fun to remind ourselves and other people of the things that are awesome here. We had a hard time deciding what we wanted to showcase, which is an awesome problem to have.”

“Sometimes you don’t value what’s right in your backyard because you drive by it everyday and forget about it. The newcomers we’re talking to just love Fairmont. They’re blown away by the opportunities that we have,” Preuss said.

The group is happy with the benefits it’s seen and plans to continue with fundraising efforts in an attempt to reach more people.

“It’s working and we want to keep pushing it out,” said Koppen.

More information can be found on fairmontarealife.com.

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