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.

Background

What’s Happening

In early 2013 our area economy changing with major job losses at Boise and the Resolute plant, smaller businesses or non-profits have closed, are downsizing and feeling direct impacts, and people and families are affected and in transition. There is an organized response underway that will be ramping up this summer and fall and will need everyone’s help and ideas.

This web site is here to share critical information from the Koochiching County and International Falls Economic Response Team (ERT) and is dedicated to help our community address and communicate information on what’s happening, share resources for assistance, describe planning and actions being taken to assess our situation and engage the broad community, and is timely and accurate. There are lots of rumors and misinformation to dispel. Find out what’s happening right here and be sure to sign up for our email alerts and ways to get involved in driving our future.

Who Led the Response

Public and private community leaders in Koochiching County and International Falls are working together to address the economic impact of these significant changes being felt throughout the area. As we experienced a 30% reduction in workforce at Boise, we are expecting the annual direct economic impact of this action to be over $244 million affecting families, other businesses, schools and government and a host of other interests throughout Koochiching County and the surrounding regional area. As unemployment benefits and one time severance packages are ending, we can expect to see more direct impacts felt throughout the area.

It’s a Shared Response

As a broad community, we must be committed to positively and collaboratively addressing this situation. It won’t fix itself. Coming together to find solutions, build hope and work our way through this difficult situation is everyone’s responsibility. Change is inevitable…growth is optional. If not now…then when? If not all of us…than who?

We can choose the path for the future, leverage our strengths and make it happen. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen tomorrow. We need everyone in the community taking shared responsibility for our neighbors and friends, supporting our local businesses and working together on a renewed, diverse economic future that is sustainable and can retain and build upon the quality of life we value here in the area. We do have a lot to offer and can turn this situation around!

We challenge you to sign up, get involved, share your ideas, and visit this site often as a part of the economic response. There is plenty of work to be done and everyone has a stake in the future outcomes.

What Are We Doing Together

Initiated by Koochiching County and the City of International Falls, your economic response team represents a cross-section of leaders in business, labor, government, and education that are working together in four Working Teams with a vision and mission, and a plan of action in place and being implemented as follows:

Vision:

The vision for this effort was to address the immediate needs of impacted employees and businesses associated with the mill while charting and driving a course of growth, sustainability, and economic diversification for Koochiching County.

Mission is to Plan and Act:

  1. To connect people in need with available resources and support services such as counseling, training, education and employment opportunities;
  2. To retain and reemploy our talented workers
  3. To address the immediate needs of existing businesses and entrepreneurs to retain and create new job opportunities;
  4. To create a growing, sustainable and diversified economy for Koochiching County and;
  5. To communicate and share information and ideas, being transparent and timely.

We Believe our Community's Better Days are Ahead of Us.