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Gov. Mark Dayton joined local leaders and lawmakers Tuesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new north Minneapolis WorkForce Center, designed to address racial and economic disparities in the community.
The $8 million project, located at 800 West Broadway, will blend services from employment, education and healthy living. It will focus on helping people find jobs, including offering workshops and training sessions resume training, job interviews and searches.
The NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center and Minneapolis Public Schools will also provide services as the search is underway for retail tenants.
“This cannot be all the public sector or non-profit sector, we need Minnesota businesses to step forward and I’ll be pursuing that with them in weeks ahead, without a public/private partnership it’s not going to generate the opportunities we want to provide,” Dayton said.
Dayton said he will push for more money to address racial disparities and improve the community, through a special session.
“We recognize the urgency of the situation and we are prepared to begin to commit the resources to make a difference, $15 million I proposed for a special session is just a beginning,” said Dayton.
The project led by George Sherman, who owns Sherman Associates Inc., to redevelop the 47,000-square-foot structure, which has been vacant since 2006, home to a former furniture store and car dealership.
“We started our 35 years of urban redevelopment in north Minneapolis. While 800 West Broadway is about economic redevelopment, it is so much more than bricks and mortar,” said Sherman. “This public and private partnership is meant to help reduce equity disparities we see in this community by providing educational and job opportunities to minority residents in north Minneapolis. It is about improving people’s lives.”
The center also will contain space for meetings and community groups, a youth center for career planning and training, and special services for post-secondary and certification training.
Partners in the project include the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the city of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis Public Schools, NorthPoint Heath and Wellness and Sherman and Associates Inc.
The project is expected to be completed in fall of 2016.
Lindsey Seavert | December 1, 2015