7/27/2018 3:00:00 PM
800 West Broadway – home to the North Minneapolis WorkForce Center, NorthPoint Health and Wellness, and Minneapolis Public Schools – just celebrated its first anniversary. Many people, like Ivan, have come through the doors of the collaborative center in search of employment and other support.
Here’s his story.
Leaving Minneapolis as a two-year-old for Mexico, then returning at 19 to start again, Ivan has experienced a homecoming even if he doesn’t remember a single detail of his birthplace.
He shares a home with relatives on the Northside who care for him. Mornings he works diligently on his English and other subjects with the Minneapolis Academy and Career Center, an alternative high school with the Minneapolis Public Schools. His connections led him to Au Bon Pain in downtown Minneapolis, where he works part-time as a dishwasher in the afternoon.
Ivan is serious about his studies, said Jenny Hopkins, ESL instructor, who has been working with Ivan since his arrival in January. “When he came here, he was shy and had a hard time speaking English, but he is hard-working and his progress has been so incredible.”
His manager eventually had him work the cash register. “This was a brilliant move on the manager’s part because it forced Ivan to interact directly with customers. He really developed a deeper level of confidence and communication skills from that experience,” Jenny said.
Those workplace skills Ivan acquires at the café will translate to academic credit, and Jenny is preparing him to enter into Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
Ivan has a dream of going into medicine and becoming a doctor someday. “I would like to help people with their health problems,” he said.
“At some point, I can see Ivan looking for a job with more hours and better pay, because he knows medical school takes resources,” Jenny said.
“I'm grateful to the 800 West Broadway team,” Ivan said. “Since I arrived here, everyone has helped me. The government gives students like me many opportunities to be successful. It has been great!”
Ivan’s story is evolving and is one illustration of the 800 West Broadway anchor team’s goal: To provide an opportunity among Minneapolis nonprofits to connect and collaborate in a centralized location.
September is right around the corner! If you’re looking for a job or other supportive assistance, don’t miss the Northside Community Job and Resource Fair on Tues., Sept. 18. It will be held at the Minneapolis North WorkForce Center from 3-7 p.m.
The Minneapolis North WorkForce Center, City of Minneapolis, and Hennepin County are sponsoring the fair. Look for more information soon.
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One tip: Only use targeted job boards and job-search engines as a small part of your job-search strategy. They are good tools for conducting research for keywords and employers. But for finding a new job? Not so much.