North Minneapolis vocational school partners with Target for new workforce development center

A new workforce development center created in a partnership between Target and Summit Academy.

A vocational school in North Minneapolis is expanding its footprint. Summit Academy OIC is teaming up with Target to advance racial equity in employment.

“Target is showing leadership,” said Louis King, the CEO of Summit Academy OIC. “People want to know what to do? Follow Target’s lead.”

Summit Academy OIC is now in partnership with the retailer to bring a new workforce development center to North Minneapolis.

“The best social service program in the world is a job,” said King.

Come February, the North Star Innovation Center will be a tech hub, training job seekers in Target’s current space inside the Regional Acceleration Center at Plymouth and Penn.

We believe in our hometown community and really this region’s ability to turn our pain and anguish into meaningful, lasting change,” said Laysha Ward, Target’s Executive Vice President and Chief External Engagement Officer.

Ward says it’s all about advancing racial equity.

“It’s essential that we use this momentum to make this more than a moment in history. That it truly becomes a sustainable movement that leads to lasting change, ending systemic racism and the structures that have disadvantaged Black, indigenous and people of color for centuries,” Ward said.

Offering tuition-free training and education in jobs ranging from healthcare to construction, Summit Academy touches hundreds of lives each year.

“I just want to provide for my family and I feel like this is a good way to do it,” said Amber Cardona, a mother of four and is seven weeks into the current IT program. “Obviously, they want people to do well, but you feel it. You feel that and that’s been my experience and I’m really thankful for that.”

A resource in the community spanning decades, through partnerships, Summit Academy and Target are expanding their reach.

“We need to figure out how to end the economic emancipation to ensure that people have the lifestyle that the Constitution promises: the pursuit of happiness,” said King.

Ward says that job creation and economic advancement are key components to closing the wealth gap and addressing other inequities that disadvantage people of color.

Target has committed millions of dollars to support groups working toward social justice.