CareerForce - Minnesota's Workforce System Rebranding

Minnesota Pinnacle Award for Business Development Nomination: CareerForce - Minnesota's Workforce System Rebranding

Contact Information of Individual Submitting Nomination

Nominator: Laura Winge

Email Address:

Agency Name: MN Dept of Employment and Economic Development


CareerForce - Minnesota's Workforce System Rebranding

Minnesota's workforce system, made up of local workforce boards, non-profit partners and state agencies, all provide services to career seekers and employers. However, those services were delivered under the logo and identity of each partner. We believed the 20+ logos used to indicate workforce services in the state were confusing our customers.

Minnesota began an effort to rebrand the entire workforce system after qualitative and quantitative research showed minimal awareness of the system. Our research also found that most Minnesotans didn't know what the workforce system is, let alone how it can be of service to them. It revealed that many who are aware of the system thought it's the unemployment office while others felt it's a good resource for others, but not for them.

"Many job seekers described a stigma with using a workforce center, particularly if it is co-located with other state services that support the poor or disabled." — 2015 focus group findings

"Most see the workforce system as the place you go if you are down on your luck and cannot find a job on your own." — 2015 focus group findings

"I have NEVER met anyone that knows about the workforce centers." — employer

Exacerbating the situation were the many inconsistent brand identities that existed. Job seekers and employers were unclear what was available to them and where exactly they should go.

We don't want to be the "best kept" secret any longer.

It's unfortunate that the majority of Minnesotans were unaware of the extraordinary resources, robust programs and passionate partners within the system. We realized we had an opportunity to change all that.

The rebranding was a collaborative effort with all system partners, led by the Governor's Workforce Development Board (GWDB), the Minnesota Workforce Council Association (MWCA) and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). We have accomplished a lot to date, and more integration will continue for 2019.

As a result of the rebranding, we, as a system have:

  • A powerful brand direction led by the promise of prosperity
  • A commitment to work as a unified brand, helping to make the workforce system one people WANT TO access vs. one they HAVE TO
  • A new name—CareerForce
  • A new logo and the creation of a dynamic identity system
  • A new online service delivery model and website
  • A new customer-focused model of serving customers


Statement of results, accomplishments, impacts and any other appropriate information that demonstrates why the nominee's efforts were an exceptional contribution.

One of the greatest accomplishments of the rebranding is that partners have put aside their individual identities and come together as one system.

The CareerForce Charter states at its core:

  • We come together as CareerForce, one unified brand driving prosperous outcomes for career seekers, employers, system partners and Minnesota. Functioning as one system to better serve our customers, each other and Minnesota, our ultimate goal is to ensure CareerForce becomes a system delivering tremendous impact for career seekers and employers, and helps everyone in Minnesota thrive.
  • CareerForce launched November 29, 2018 and has already changed the way customers interact with our system.
  • A culture plan is guiding the work of changing our service delivery model from one of program names, jargon and acronyms to a customer-centered model.
  • Visitors and callers to CareerForce locations witness enhanced service delivery, an improved customer experience and streamlined employer services.
  • A welcoming protocol was created and training will be provided around that new protocol, assuring that every customer receives the same level of service, regardless of which of our 50 physical locations they visit.
  • Where the system currently has hundreds of workshops for career seekers, with different names and curriculum, those workshops are now being standardized across all our locations.
  • A team is working to create one universal intake form for career seekers
  • System-wide comment cards are being rolled out and data from those cards will guide future system changes
  • As a system we were able to leverage a federal Workforce Innovation Fund grant to bring the brand to life in a new online platform - Visitors to can search job postings, plus access innovative career planning tools, workforce development resources and labor market information. Ongoing and significant enhancements are planned for the site through 2019.


Other significant contributions 

The work Minnesota has done can serve as a model other states could follow for bringing all workforce services together under one umbrella, in a customer-focused, integrated model of service delivery. We can serve as an example of how to make a language shift from programs and agency names to customer-centric language.

The new site offers expanded content and resources for employers around hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. This information is evergreen and could be used by others in workforce development around the country. We have plans to continue to expand this employer toolkit of diversity, equity and inclusion resources in 2019

In addition, the website offers easy to find, tailored resources for employers and career seekers. Labor market information has been broken down into easily digestible bites of information.

And, finally, the rebranding allows the state to focus on one of our primary WIOA goals – trying to get people on a career path to a living wage. The career pathway tools built into on the career seeker dashboard are tools that could be replicated around the country.

Please review website and videos at - as we couldn't attach them to this application.

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