CareerForce helps connect New American jobseekers and NW MN employers

crowds of people talking with other people at display tables in a large room

Proactive outreach by CareerForce staff with the local New American community in northwestern Minnesota resulted in the first of its kind Polk County New Americans Job Fair, which drew 40 job seekers despite frigid temperatures.

The job fair, co-sponsored by CareerForce and the New Americans Integration Center of East Grand Forks, took place on Jan.19 featured employers like Sanford Health, Home at Heart Care, University of Minnesota and Altru Health Systems. Translators were on hand to assist attendees and employers in communicating. CareerForce staff were also there to introduce jobseekers to prospective employers based on their career goals.

“Forging relationships between the growing New American communities in the Polk County and East Grand Forks region and prospective employers in health care, education, and agriculture is crucial to the success of Northwest Minnesota” said Jason Pangiarella, Workforce Development Representative for the area covering Polk County. “Building this bridge takes time and deliberate effort but is worth the time as it pays dividends many times over.” 

Immigrants, refugees and evacuees, often called New Americans as a group, are critically important in helping to address Minnesota’s extremely tight labor market. New Americans as a whole have a younger age profile and higher labor force participation rate than U.S. born residents as a whole. Learn more about the importance of New Americans in our state’s labor force in this research article from Northwest Minnesota Labor Market Analyst Anthony Schaffhauser Can regaining Immigration Levels Help Resolve Minnesota’s Tight Labor Market?

Jason says CareerForce and the New Americans Integration Center of East Grand Forks will work together to host future hiring events, “Next time, we’ll be aiming for even more impact, and if lucky, above zero temperatures.”