While tangible resources like housing opportunities and daycare facilities certainly can go a long way in promoting emotional investment in a community, this group’s focus was to facilitate communication and cooperation amongst various community groups and to adopt a vision and excitement for Murdo as a hometown. From this work, strategic mixers and lunch and learn functions were held, and Geigle says that it’s been enjoyable to see community members, young and old, show up to network and to hear what’s happening around the community.
Beyond these events, a sense of renewed desire to participate in community growth is certainly evident, according to volunteer Kelsie Slovek.
“Murdo is cultivating its own definition of a thriving rural community by listening to what community members are telling us is a priority for them,” Slovek said. “We have been fortunate enough to have community members give their feedback at various meetings and gatherings since March of 2023, and we continue to ask for feedback as we make progress in the strategic direction initiatives to ensure we are heading in the right direction.”
When it comes to developing the workforce in and around Murdo, these volunteers set out to develop and support the workforce in existing and future opportunities by hosting a Career Day, in collaboration with the local school district and business in the area. In addition, Murdo stakeholders also developed a survey for business owners to identify workforce needs. Exploration of grant opportunities for both existing and startup businesses is also underway.
“The workforce group is working on the opportunity to collaborate with surrounding schools and really focusing on exposing our youth to the career possibilities that are out there,” Geigle said. “This group is doing an exceptional job and I can’t wait to see what they continue to create.”
The culmination of Murdo’s Community Coaching process will be celebrated in March 2024, where the teams will share their success and plan for future investments and commitments to continue building a thriving community. These accomplishments, while stellar on their own, are also evidence of something greater in Murdo: a renewed commitment to collaboration and growth. What’s most exciting? The impacts of such work only continue to ripple outward throughout the community.
“In Murdo, we know that so many volunteers have put in their time and dedication into making our city great and what it is today,” Geigle said. “We also know that we have to continually work towards progression while being mindful of the values our community was raised on. What we have learned through this process of coaching with Dakota Resources in the past year is the value of creating space for collaboration to happen and constantly inviting additional community members to join us.”