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Cook County Chamber hires workforce recruiter

Laura Muus is working for the Cook County Chamber to help meet the community's workforce needs. Photo by Rhonda Silence, WTIP
Laura Muus is working for the Cook County Chamber to help meet the community's workforce needs. Photo by Rhonda Silence, WTIP

Over the years, local businesses have come to rely on international workers during the busy tourism season. However, recent changes to the number of workers who can come to the United States to work—as well as the criteria for those visiting workers—has led to staffing shortages.

That workforce crunch led the Cook County Chamber and the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority to turn attention elsewhere to fill workforce needs. That has included reaching out to workers in Puerto Rico, which has been experiencing economic difficulties since Hurricane Maria devastated the island community.

Branson, Missouri has had success bringing Puerto Rico people—who are citizens of the United States—to the mainland to work. Cook County businesses hope to follow that example.

Toward that end, a new position has been created in Cook County. The chamber and the economic development authority applied for, and received a grant, from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, to develop a program to work with the Puerto Rican government to bring workers here.

This week, the Cook County Chamber announced that Laura Muus, of Grand Marais, a Peru native, has been hired to serve in this role.

As someone who came to this community as an international worker to work in the hospitality industry, Laura has an idea what it is like to be a newcomer here on the North Shore.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence sat down with Laura Muus and Chamber Director Jim Boyd to learn more about the Chamber’s new recruiting program in this interview.
 

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