This past Saturday was the kick-off of “Welcoming Week,” a national initiative sponsored by the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization Welcoming America. “Welcoming Week” is designed “to celebrate and affirm the importance of inclusivity and connections for immigrants, refugees and long-term residents.” Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is a proud partner in this effort and, as Assistant Commissioner for Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, Anisa Hajimumin, notes, DEED has firsthand knowledge of “the positive impact of immigrants and refugees” on Minnesota’s community and economic development.
Consider for example, that from 2010 to 2018, more than 80,000 foreign-born residents joined Minnesota’s workforce, accounting for 60% of the state’s labor force growth during this period. According to DEED, over three-fifths of Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee workers “are in their prime working years of 25 to 54” as compared to approximately only one-third of the rest of Minnesota workers. Moreover, immigrants and refugees are significantly represented in high demand and critical infrastructure sectors such as healthcare, technology, agriculture, and the service industry. And finally, as Hajimumin adds, this not only enhances economic development in Minnesota, but brings meaningful social, cultural, linguistic, and artistic assets to urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the state.
To learn more about the positive impact that immigrants and refugees make in Minnesota communities, please visit the American Immigration Council website. For resources on how to establish and maintain an equitable workplace, go to Career Force Minnesota. And, for more on Welcoming America, Welcoming Week, and how you can engage in this important work in your community, click here.