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Otter Tail County Hires Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator

January 10th, 2017                                                             Erik Osberg


Otter Tail County Hires

Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator

FERGUS FALLS, MN— Otter Tail County has announced the selection of Erik Osberg as their new Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator.   According to Nick Leonard, Director of Tourism and Economic Development, “Erik was selected from a talented pool of professionals from across the state.”  The position is funded in part by grants from the West Central Initiative, Blandin Foundation, Otto Bremer Foundation, Frank W. Veden Charitable Trust, Fergus Falls EIC and various private sector supporters.   The primary goal will be to develop and implement short and long term strategies that assist in attracting, developing, retaining and expanding workforce in Otter Tail County.

“We are very pleased to have Erik on board,” reported Leonard. “Erik is a creative problem solver, with a very strong marketing background.  We are excited to work with Erik in our continuing effort to make Otter Tail County a great place to live and work.  We have been impressed by his work, and look forward to seeing what he can do to help us share our story with folks who are looking for a change of pace. ”

Mr. Osberg is a resident of Wadena, MN.  For the past five years, he has run a marketing company that specializes in creating digital media content.  Most recently, he produced an outdoor based TV show.  One of the episodes was dedicated to the vast recreational opportunities in Otter Tail County.  “I’m very pleased to advocate for such a great part of Minnesota,” said Erik.  “This area has so much to offer.  The quality of life, culture and sense of community make this a very attractive place to live and work.”  Erik, a graduate of Hamline University, has a background in finance, sales and marketing.  He also has directed and served on numerous regional nonprofit boards and committees.

The Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator is a new position at Otter Tail County.  Planning for this role began over a year ago. Osberg will work closely with workforce stakeholders, including education systems and institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations, workforce partners and others who play a role in workforce initiatives.  The first item on his “to-do” list is to research the current workforce environment in Otter Tail County.  “We want to become regional experts when it comes to employment issues,” said Osberg.  “Research suggests there is a migration of talented workers who are looking to relocate from urban settings to rural areas for various reasons.  It appears that migration is happening organically.  We want to position Otter Tail County as top-of-mind amongst these folks so we can capitalize on the rural rebound opportunity.”

Another goal is to energize youth in the area and offer perspective on the opportunities that exist in their own back yard.  “Education is important.  In order for Otter Tail County to thrive in the future, we need to be creative and shine a light on careers that exist here.  We need to place a value on work.  Having a job isn’t just about the money we make; it’s about the life we live.  We need to celebrate the lifestyle Otter Tail County can offer, and make sure we are doing our best to share this hidden gem with the world.”


Nick Leonard, Otter Tail County Tourism and Economic Development Director

Erik Osberg, Otter Tail County Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator


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