The Christian Science Monitor

Dangling a college offer, one rural town tries to hang on to its work force

Dick Prozinski taps his cluttered desk with affectionate nostalgia.

“I’d have 100 [job] applications on my desk at all times,” says the Devils Lake, N.D., restaurant owner. Now, “you almost have to beg people to fill out an application.” Between his two eateries, he’s short seven or eight trained cooks.

Ditto for Kyle Blanchfield, owner of Woodland Resort on the shores of Devils Lake, the state’s largest natural lake and renowned for its fishing. If he could hire four or five more trained customer-service managers, he says he could boost business 20 percent.

The worker

College costs in exchange for work Starting small 

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