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Project Overview

According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, the state’s nonwhite or Latino population is expected to double between 2005 and 2035, reaching 25 percent of the total population. 

These population changes will not be isolated to only certain geographic areas of the state. Each region is projected to become more racially and ethnically diverse over the coming decades.

Stark Disparities

Currently, we see stark employment disparities among Minnesota’s racial and ethnic groups. 

The percentage of those age 16 to 64 who are unemployed or not in the labor force is 59 percent among Dakota, 48 percent among Ojibwe, 45 percent among U.S.-born African-American, 40 percent among Somali, and 38 percent among Hmong populations. That’s compared to 22 percent among Minnesota's white population.

These employment disparities will have a growing negative impact on the state's economic future. To gain deeper insights into what can be done, DEED has conducted a first-of-its-kind survey of Minnesota employers to understand their current approach to workforce diversity.

We surveyed nearly 3,000 Minnesota employers at large and small businesses in every region and across all industries. More than 1,000 companies responded, providing an unprecedented look at the business practices affecting Minnesota’s rapidly diversifying workforce.

Questions ranged from how employers define diversity, to their perceptions of how diverse their current workforce is, to what best practices they have used to manage employee diversity. We'll release survey findings and analysis throughout 2016 and share stories and examples of diversity management in action.

Informing Workforce Training

This work will be crucial to helping us understand the employment outcomes of Minnesotans served in state- and federally-funded workforce training programs. 

Every day, state and local partners work to connect an increasingly diverse group of job seekers to training in career pathways that have the potential for long-term employment at family sustaining wages.

Understanding how those training programs mesh with the needs of business and industry is key to ensuring their effectiveness and is central to the goal of having a more diverse workforce.

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