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DEED Grants Aim to Reduce Southeast Asian Economic Disparities

10/18/2019 9:00:00 AM

Deputy Commissioner Hamse Warfa

I am pleased to announce that DEED has awarded eight grants totaling $1.9 million under the Southeast Asian Economic Disparities Relief Competitive Grant program.

This grant program funds organizations that provide services that relieve economic disparities to individuals 18 years and older from Southeast Asian communities through workforce recruitment and development, job creation, assistance to smaller organizations to increase capacity, and outreach.

As part of the competitive grant improvement process we rolled out earlier this year, the team of reviewers, who represented both DEED and community organizations, read and scored each proposal. This was no small task. DEED received nearly twice as many worthy requests for Southeast Asian Economic Disparities Relief Competitive Grant funding than we could fulfill. I want to acknowledge and thank everyone for their work, especially those from the community who gave valuable feedback and input to the process.

The organizations below have been awarded grants, pending contract finalization and financial review. I look forward to working with them over the next year on this critical work serving the Southeast Asian community.

--Deputy Commissioner Hamse Warfa

Hmong American Partnership, Custom Jobs Training, Saint Paul, $200,000
Hmong American Partnership will provide vocational training and job placement in manufacturing, health care and transportation. The organization serves Ramsey and Hennepin counties and focuses on Saint Paul’s Frogtown and East Side and North Minneapolis.

Karen Organization of Minnesota, Healthcare and Manufacturing Career Pathways, Roseville, $200,000
Over 90 Minnesotans of Southeast Asian heritage will receive training and job placement support in Certified Nursing Assistant training or soldering certification. Trainees will also receive adult basic education, hands-on training, and wraparound services to enter skilled careers. The organization serves the Metro Area.

Hmong Cultural Center, Southeast Asian Workforce Development Training, Saint Paul, $200,000
Job readiness training, occupational English training, and OSHA certification for high demand jobs will focus on high poverty groups, including recently arrived refugees and middle-aged to older refugees. The organization serves the Metro Area.

CAPI USA, SE Asian Economic Disparities Relief Project, Brooklyn Center, $239,830
Career Pathways training in manufacturing and health care and financial empowerment will be provided for 100 Southeast Asians, while also helping participants find employment in multiple industries. CAPI USA serves Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, North Minneapolis, and South Minneapolis.

Asian Economic Development Association, ACTx SE Asian Construction Training, Saint Paul, $100,000
ACTx Construction will provide nationally- and U.S. Department of Labor-recognized certification training in the construction trades, intensive case management support, and hands-on experiential learning. The organization serves the Metro Area.

Workforce Development, Inc., Southeast Asian Success in Southeast Minnesota, Rochester, $360,170
Southeast Asians residing in Rochester and surrounding communities will receive tools and resources to access training and utilize workforce development services in a variety of industries. A Southeast Asian outreach specialist and a program specialist will provide services in a culturally relevant manner.

Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota, Design Innovation, $200,000
Project objectives include increasing diversity in the hospitality and carpentry industries; improving customer service; improving participants’ English as a Second Language skill; creating a mentorship program in hospitality and construction; and providing technical skill development. Local employers will be involved to develop employment and career advancement opportunities. Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota serves Mower and Freeborn counties, and the Metro Area.

Southeast Asian Refugee Community, Southeast Asian Employment and Training, Minneapolis, $400,000
The Southeast Asian Employment and Training program will provide 134 participants with training in IT, soldering, accounting, and confidence-building. The Southeast Asian Refugee Community serves the Metro Area.

– Deputy Commissioner Hamse Warfa

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