The Changing Face of the Heartland, Brookings Essay Print

 

Preparing America's Diverse Workforce for Tomorrow


Jennifer Bradley, Brookings Essay


The Brookings Institute recently published an essay in which the Twin Cities is viewed as a microcosm of the growing diversity of the United States.  White children under 10 are already a minority in the Twin Cities, and Caucasians in other age groups will become a minority as the decades pass.

 

tipping points when age group becomes minority white 


While Minnesota has traditionally been a more white state than other parts of the country, Minnesota has fast become more diverse due to immigration from a wide array of Asian, African, and Latino nations. Minneapolis and St. Paul have been hubs of refugee resettlement for decades.  Minnesota has twice the share of immigrants from Southeast Asia as the United States as a whole (21 percent versus 10 percent of the immigrant population), and five times the share of immigrants from Africa as the nation as a whole (21 percent versus 4 percent).

Since Minnesota's immigrant population is younger than its white population, most of the future growth in the labor force will come from people of color.  The challenge Minnesota currently faces is preparing its new immigrants for the job market.  Currently they graduate from high school at a much lower rate than the white population.  Both business men and women and educators realize that meeting this challenge requires both high quality education in early childhood and innovative work/study programs in our high schools and colleges. 

Read the Brookings report on the racial disparities in education, employment, and income in Minnesota and the opportunities collaboration between ethnic, government, business, and nonprofit groups in Minnesota present for "Preparing America's Diverse Workforce for Tomorrow."

 

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