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WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 05, 2011, 09:25 AM

Baby boomer retirements to transform rural Minn.

ROSEAU, Minn. (AP) — The oldest members of the baby boom generation turn 65 this year. That means big implications for the workforce across Minnesota, but it will bring special challenges to rural areas.

ROSEAU, Minn. (AP) — The oldest members of the baby boom generation turn 65 this year. That means big implications for the workforce across Minnesota, but it will bring special challenges to rural areas.

One is the northwestern Minnesota town of Roseau (ROH'-zoh), where Polaris employs 1,400 people making snowmobiles and ATVs.

Business is picking up, and human resources director Brooke Coffey tells Minnesota Public Radio the company plans to hire another 200 workers in the next few months. He says that's not easy in far northern Minnesota.

And it's about to become even more challenging. Forty percent of the plant's workers are between the ages of 47 and 65.

Across Minnesota, about 700,000 people will reach retirement age in the next decade. That's almost as many as in the previous four decades combined.

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