Serving the citizens of Koochiching County and the cities of Bigfalls, International Falls, Littlefork, Northome, Ranier and surrounding region.
Serving the citizens of Koochiching County and the cities of Bigfalls, International Falls, Littlefork, Northome, Ranier and surrounding region.

Vision & Asset

Long Term Vision, Strategy and Assets

Over the next several months, the Long Term Vision, Strategy and Asset Team (Vision and Asset Team) will be identifying economic and community drivers that reflect the vision of citizens of the region. Community involvement is critical to the success of this initiative and we will actively seek volunteers to support this initiative.

With the input from the citizens of the region, the Vision and Asset Teams primary goal is to create a roadmap with clear goals and objectives of what our region will look like in the future. This is an opportunity to shape our community for the next 10 to 15 years. Citizen input is critical to the success of this project.

The mission of the Vision and Asset Team is to create a growing, sustainable, and diversified economy for Koochiching County. Even before the May 2013 announcement of major, permanent production and workforce reductions by Boise Inc. the region was experiencing an economic decline. Between 2000 and 2012, Koochiching County lost 13 percent of its jobs and eight percent of its employers. A vision and strategy are required to put the region on a path to long-term prosperity.

Economic Adjustment Strategy

The Northspan Group will facilitate a broad-based community engagement process that will result in an economic development plan setting a strategic framework and course of action with the following components:

  • With professional assistance, complete a market scan and economic assessment/analysis for the area’s economic region and benchmark the region to similar areas and competitors. ARDC will complete the economic base analysis of the region and the Fort Frances, Ontario area.With professional assistance, complete a sector based target business/industry analysis and recommendations for existing and emerging opportunities.
  • Using professional experience, complete an analysis of logistical and transportation business opportunities for the Foreign Trade Zone and Ranier rail port. The Ranier rail port is the busiest port of entry in the United States connecting Port Rupert, Canada to Chicago.
  • Use the workforce skills assessment described under the Worker Retention and Assistance Team section to match with targeted business opportunities and create a talent development strategy to support these targets and other long-term opportunities.
  • Using professional assistance, prepare an external marketing strategy for Koochiching County that addresses the targeted business opportunities identified in 4 and 5 above.
  • Northspan will lead the development of a Strategic Action Plan that incorporates and links the results of items 1 through 6 above. The Strategic Action Plan will be a long- term vision and set of strategies that the region will use to guide future economic and community development projects, programs, and investments. This will be necessary to sustain local efforts to grow and diversify the economy beyond the timeframe of the EAA (Economic Adjustment Assistance) investment.