Locals Returning Home Thanks to New Job Opportunities

The job opportunities are allowing Northlanders to stay closer to home.

VIRGINIA, Minn.- The employment opportunities on the Iron Range, are allowing more Northlanders to stay where their roots are.

“Everybody is employed, it’s a great thing for us and we’ve seen that economic boom,” Virginia Mayor Larry Cuffe said.

The mines are in full swing, the health care industry is also providing jobs for many workers.

Mayor Cuffe said part time and full time employment are at its peak.

“We’re very happy about that, we’re moving forward,” Mayor Cuffe said. “We’ve done more economically in the last five to seven years than we have in decades.”

Local students are taking full advantage of the opportunities. The Mesabi Range College is helping some along the way. The college offers many programs to prepare for the specific jobs available locally.

“To see our students walk across the stage and then know you can see them out in the communities,”Interim Provost Shelly McCauley Jugovich said. “It’s thrilling for an institution.”

One student FOX21 spoke with is a veteran; now enjoying his hometown and raising his family thanks to a job opportunity, with the mine.

“It helps when you can keep students in this area if that’s something they want to do,” veteran/student Fletcher Jahn said.

The work and school opportunities made returning home possible, but other factors helped convince his family.

Fletcher said the great outdoors, enjoying hunting and fishing with his wife and daughter were a good reason to plant his roots back home.

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