One-year anniversary of Mpls center dedicated to finding jobs for immigrants

Ifrah Hashi recently moved to the Twin Cities in the hopes of finding a job, soon finding herself reporting for duty as a public health specialist with the City of Minneapolis.

Her new job is to promote physical activity in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, a diverse and immigrant-heavy community on the Mississippi River's west bank--but she couldn't have done it alone.

She owes her new gig in part to a community center in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood that celebrated its one-year-anniversary Monday, and was on hand for a ceremony along with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and other city leaders to celebrate the milestone. 

The Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center helps locals, especially immigrants and Somali-Americans, find jobs in the community. Hashi credits the center's staff for finding the opening and helping to prepare the exercise and health science major's application, a service it's provided for countless other individuals over the course of the past year. 

The project is a public-private partnership that's already found more than 320 people jobs in the Twin Cities, a win-win for both Minnesota immigrant communities and local employers who are having a hard time filling jobs in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“When we fill these jobs it means people are earning a living to support themselves and their families," Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin said. "It makes for a stronger Cedar Riverside."