Four Corners Economic Development (4CED) recently partnered with La Plata County Economic Development Alliance (Alliance), its counterpart organization in southwestern Colorado, to expand an already successful initiative aimed at helping couples and families relocating to the area—the Trailing Spouse program.
The Trailing Spouse program helps find employment for spouses or partners of employees who have themselves found jobs in southwest Colorado and now northwest New Mexico.
“An increasing number of families depend upon two incomes to support their households,” said Roger Zalneraitis, Alliance Executive Director. “This is becoming a challenge nationally for companies to recruit new hires. We also found through our business retention visits (surveys) that this was one of the top challenges facing our local companies to attract the talent they need to grow.”
To help the local business community overcome this challenge, the Alliance and 4CED are working together to offer the Trailing Spouse program to members of their organizations. If a business member has hired a new recruit, and the spouse needs to find work as well, the spouse’s resume is forwarded to the entire memberships of both organizations on both sides of the state line. Companies can then call candidates that they are interested in hiring.
Both the Colorado and New Mexico organizations consider the program a win-win for business and newly located families. Hagerman continued, “This referral program makes it easier for firms to recruit great employees and help retain them by also integrating the employees’ families into our region. The goal is to help spouses find needed employment and help local companies reduce the time, cost, and frequency of the hiring task.”
“I was pleasantly surprised at how well the program did at placing people in its first year” said Zalneraitis.
“However, we can do more. Durango and Farmington share a common labor market. Ray and I both believe
that working together will increase the number of people we can successfully place through this program.”
How it Works: