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Workforce Housing Summit

Workforce Housing Summit

March 23, 2023 | 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Workforce Housing: Experiences, Needs and Opportunities in Central Minnesota

Creating a place where you can build your life in the community where you work.

March 23, 2023  |  8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
St. Cloud State University - Atwood Center



Central Minnesota has a shortage of workforce-affordable housing. That is, housing that is affordable for workers making $15-30 dollars per hour. Many local companies are highly dependent on those workers and, with the current workforce shortage, making our community attractive to those workers is an important strategic concern. Our ability to grow as a community – economically, socially and demographically is on the line and this important issue needs to be addressed.

Through this event, we intend to share information and ideas on how to address the barriers to the development of workforce-affordable housing using objective data and highlighting the actions other communities have taken to address the issue.

We will also share data to help us : 
  • Understand the scope and magnitude of the problem
  • The impact it has on our community health
  • The issues employers face in recruiting, training and retaining skilled workers
  • The role of access to safe, affordable housing plays for our workforce

It is our hope that this event will serve as a catalyst for collaborative, area-wide planning to address the mix of housing in our communities and secure a prosperous future for our area. The ultimate goal is that everyone who works in our communities can afford to live in our communities.

This event will be important for community development/planning staff, elected officials, employers, economic development professionals, developers and contractors and anyone interested in workforce development and the future of our communities.




8:00 a.m. - Registration

8:30 - 9:30 a.m. - Keynote Speakers: Luke Greiner & Nick Erickson
  •  "What is our Housing Inventory and Where are our Gaps?"
  •  "What are the Housing and Workforce Needs for our Community?" 

9:45 - 10:40 a.m. - Breakout Sessions
  • Health
  • Barriers: Regulations & Fees, Inputs
  • How to Make Affordable Solutions Happen 
10:50 - 11:45 a.m. - Breakout Sessions
  • Lessons from Greater Minnesota
  • Resources
  • Center for the American Experiment

12:00 - 1 p.m. - Lunch & Employer Panel: Needs & Workforce Housing Models

1:15 - 1:30 p.m. - Closing Remarks

 Speaker Details

Luke Greiner

Luke Greiner is the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s regional analyst for central and southwestern Minnesota. Luke conducts research, writes publications, and provides presentations about Greater Minnesota's economy, job market, industry trends, career and educational decision-making, and higher education outcomes. He has a bachelor's degree in management from Park University in Parkville, MO. Luke worked in workforce development for DEED before becoming an analyst and currently serves on the National ACT Steering Committee and Minnesota State ACT Council.


Nick Erickson

Erickson has assisted with Housing Affordability Institute since its inception in 2018, having served as author and lead researcher on the Institute’s past efforts. Erickson has played a critical role in the housing policy discussion in Minnesota since joining Housing First Minnesota in 2017, where he’s managed its regulatory advocacy and research programs. Erickson holds a degree in Business Communication from the University of St. Thomas’s Opus College of Business and was a Policy Fellow (2018-2019) at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.


Martha Njolomole

Martha Njolomole is an Economist at Center of the American Experiment.

Martha earned her Master of Arts in economics, at Troy University in Alabama, where she worked as a research assistant on several projects that advanced the ideas of economic freedom and individual liberty.

Martha’s upbringing in Malawi, a developing country, helped her develop a passion for contributing to research on the social and economic advancement of economically disadvantaged people. Her work at the center focuses extensively on advocating for less regulation, less taxes and less government spending.

Martha has been published in the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy. She has also written numerous Op-Eds to various research outlets, including the Foundation for Economic Education.