The tourism industry is a leading economic driver in Minnesota, generating $15 billion in gross sales, more than 265,000 full- and part-time jobs, $5.4 billion in wages, and 18 percent of state sales tax revenue (Explore Minnesota Tourism, 2018). In the central Minnesota counties of Cass and Crow Wing, tourism generates over $350 million in gross sales and supports more than 6,000 jobs (Explore Minnesota Tourism, 2018).
The counties of Cass and Crow Wing were selected for this study because the two counties account for eight percent of the state’s accommodation jobs, including resorts and campgrounds. The potential of work campers to address seasonal labor shortages emerged from a recent study of the lodging workforce in these two counties. This study is a follow-up based on the Lodging Workforce Study in Cass and Crow Wing Counties. Work campers are individuals or couples who live a travel-work lifestyle, moving around the United States and working full or part-time jobs. These people may be a potential group of workers that can be tapped for seasonal labor needs in the Cass and Crow Wing tourism and hospitality sector. This study provides an overview of the work camper sector and a qualitative look at the regional opportunities and constraints of this uniquely identified population as a potential workforce for the tourism businesses in Cass and Crow Wing counties. Interviews with local business operators, organizations, and public sector professionals provided insight into the regional opportunities and constraints to engaging work campers as a potential labor resource.
Messer, Cynthia, C.; Zhang, Yue; Koerte, Tammy.
Work Campers as a Resource to Address Regional Workforce Needs.
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