Leaving Minnesota? Where’s the better regional opportunity?

The Leaving Minnesota posts continue to generate a lot of audience discussion. It’s been great. Jaime Bergren-Hanish of Chaska just dropped us a note with her story of leaving Minnesota, then losing a job, then finding a better opportunity here.

She writes:

My husband and I just returned to MN after a 4-month stint in Sioux Falls, SD. When my husband found himself jobless after working several years with the same communications company, he fervently searched for employment in the rural area in Minnesota where we were raising our kids, but no luck. Once he began looking in Sioux Falls, an area we were familiar with because of its close proximity to Minnesota he was employed almost immediately.

As a nurse, I thought I could find work just about anywhere, and when I began looking in Sioux Falls, I too was employed almost right away. We found a nice neighborhood, rented a house, and began looking for homes to purchase. Three months later, I was unemployed.

I frantically began a search for a new job to no avail. Our family was hit twice in the same year with joblessness. So much for blaming the Minnesota economy!

Bergren-Hanis, part of MPR’s Public Insight Network, says financial needs were the primary reasons for uprooting their three boys in four months, but she also found she was “homesick for so many things during our short stay in South Dakota.”

We are now living in Chaska, where my husband continues to search for work, with quite a few leads lined up. I am employed here as an RN in the insurance field. Chaska has welcomed us with open arms! The elementary school has all three boys excited to attend…I love my job…

We’re a mobile society, so it’s not unusual for people to move. The longer term concern with Minnesota is that it’s facing a future with a workforce that will age significantly and grow much slower in the coming 25 years, so attracting and keeping workers is crucial to the state’s long-term economic health.

On another note, I’m still surprised when someone tells me they were laid off from a nursing job anywhere. My colleague Mike Caputo tackled the issue a few months ago.

I’ve had a few folks tell me that there is a long term shortage but that the economy, together with an oversupply due in part to older nurses choosing not to retire given the recession, is causing short term problems. Any thoughts on that? Let me know.

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Have you moved in or out of Minnesota in the past year? Drop me a line and share your experience. Or post below. Also, check out the map to read what people in MPR’s Public Insight Network have told us about the job climate around them. Then share your story.

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