Tuesday March 14, 2017
Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center begins its
operations on Monday, providing residents everything from on-site
employment recruiters to counseling services for assisting people in
earning career credentials.
Cedar-Riverside neighborhood on Sunday celebrated the grand opening of a
long-heralded career center aimed at connecting area residents to
employment opportunities and educational resources.
ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center,
which has been in the making for over two years, drew nearly 100
neighborhood residents and government officials from the city of
Minneapolis and Hennepin County.The center — which is housed in
the Five15 on the Park high-rise building — begins its operations on
Monday, providing residents everything from on-site employment
recruiters to counseling services for assisting people in earning career
credentials. The 5,000-square-foot facility features four interview
rooms and a training room.
The center was founded to combat unemployment challenges among East
African residents in the neighborhood, which has long seen some of the
highest joblessness rates in the city.
“This is a community
space,” said Council Member Abdi Warsame, who led the effort to
establish the center in partnership with Hennepin County commissioner
Peter McLaughlin. “It’s also a space that signifies the East African
community’s growth in this part of the city of Minneapolis.”
project is the result of partnerships between city and county
governments as well as local employers and educational institutions.
EMERGE Community Development, for instance, leads the center’s
day-to-day operations, such as workforce development services and youth
employment and education programs.
Representatives from Minneapolis Technical and Community College
share a space at the center to provide visitors the information and
counseling services they need to obtain education and career training
skills. And the center’s employer partners — including Hennepin County,
the University of Minnesota, the city of Minneapolis and Augsburg
College — will also have a regular presence at the center to hold
on-site interviews and recruit workers.
“I’m proud that Hennepin
County can be a partner in this,” said Hennepin County Commissioner
Peter McLaughlin. “This is going to be a pathway to opportunity for
residents of this neighborhood and the entire East African community.”
told the crowd at the Sunday event about a meeting he had with elders
of the Cedar-Riverside community eight or nine years ago. One of their
requests, he said, was access to job opportunities for people in the
neighborhood. “There’s a great tradition in America,” he said, “a great
tradition of providing opportunity — and to me, this building
represents America’s better angel … to open the door of opportunity, to
provide hope and to provide a new pathway.”
By Ibrahim Hirsi MINNPOST