Biz Buzz: Employers seek candidates for job openings

A hiring event brought out employers from across the lakes area Wednesday, April 19, at the Westgate Mall.

Employers set up spots in the Westgate Mall for a job fair
Mike Lang, talent acquisition specialist at Essentia Health, talks with Lindsey Hansen, case aid, at the hiring event. Businesses from across the lakes area set up tables to talk about full-time and part-time seasonal positions.
Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER — Employers filled the halls at the Westgate Mall Wednesday, April 19, in an effort to attract jobseekers.

Mike Lang, talent acquisition specialist at Essentia Health, was looking for people interested in a number of positions and said he had good candidates and resumes he could hand over to the hiring managers from the event.

“There's a few really, really good people I've met with today,” Lang said, noting there is strong competition for workers as everyone is looking and faced with a small pool to draw from these days.

Lang said there was a good turnout at the mall. Lang was hoping to also talk with nurses for positions but said he had good candidates in other areas. He said it can be challenging when looking for people to fill positions, especially in smaller communities like Pine River and Emily.

Another job fair is coming up.


Cuyuna Lakes Business Community: The Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, are hosting a Hiring Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 6 in the conference room at Heartwood Senior Living in Crosby.

“This event is free for business to participate in and a great opportunity to hire before the busy summer season. Registration is open to all chamber members. Businesses are encouraged to bring along marketing materials and any information about the job positions they are seeking to fill.”

The deadline to register for this event is April 30.

People talk to prospective employers who lined up tables in the Westgate Mall walkways during a hiring event
People talk to prospective employers during a hiring event Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at the Westgate Mall.
Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

National Small Business Week is April 30-May 6. Registration for the 2023 National Small Business Week Virtual Summit is now open. The two-day online event will take place from May 2-3. Attendance is free of charge, but registration is required. To register, visit .

The She Leads event in Baxter brought more than 100 local women entrepreneurs to Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes on April 13.

The event provided a place for the women to present their business ideas, challenges and opportunities to area experts, the organization reported.

This was the second annual She Leads: Elevating Entrepreneurial Ideas event hosted by the Entrepreneur Fund, Women’s Leadership Fund, and Initiative Fund. It brought together “women entrepreneurs with a small group of local experts in finance, legal, marketing, business management and more who gave them instant, supportive feedback on their ideas,” She Leads reported after the event, adding participants walked away with ideas, encouragement, and new perspectives to take their business to the next level.

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“It’s a wonderful opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain valuable feedback in a supportive environment from local women leaders in business,” said Sandy Voigt, director of the Women’s Business Alliance, a program of the Entrepreneur Fund, in a news release.


Following the small group and one-on-one sessions with business experts, participants heard from a panel of three successful business women, Kristi Westbrock, CEO of Consolidated Telecommunications Company; Nadene Kruize, senior vice president/senior loan officer at Minnesota Business Finance Corp.; and Clare Richards, co-owner of Impacks, who shared tips and tools on how to better manage their time, people, equipment and money for maximum efficiency in their business operations.

“The energy is palpable. It’s wonderful to see women learning, connecting, and inspiring one another. It’s a dedicated space to bring up challenges and opportunities with people who have been there and can help entrepreneurs move towards their goals,” Voigt said.

The event was sponsored by Minnesota Business Finance Corp., First Bank & Trust, North Central Small Business Development Center, Central Lakes College and Lake Printing.

RENEE RICHARDSON, Brainerd Dispatch managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or . Follow on Twitter at .

Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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