Building Tomorrow’s Workforce

Fair Chance Hiring Summit Set for May 15

Minnesota employers report difficulties in finding qualified workers, hindering their ability to grow their businesses, according to leaders at CareerForce (formerly Minnesota WorkForce Centers) in Blaine.The workforce shortage is reflected in the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate that is 3.1 percent. While employers would benefit from an expanded talent pool, individuals with records are often overlooked by employers. “These fair chance workers have skills and experience that can help businesses solve their problems recruiting workers,” said Nicole Swanson, a director at CareerForce in Blaine. “At the same time, these individuals can learn about jobs that can put them on career paths and help them achieve economic self-sufficiency.”

To help connect employers with these job seekers, CareerForce in Blaine will host the Fair Chance Hiring Summit on May 15.

A panel with employer representatives, labor market analysts and reentry advocates will address recruitment processes. These include selection criteria such as education, skills and experience for hiring in industries and occupations with high demand.

The employer panel will be 9 to 10 a.m. with the hiring event from 10 a.m. to noon. The summit will be held at 1201 89th Avenue NE Suite 235.

Individuals will be able to visit more than 20 exhibitors to learn about companies, job opportunities and benefits. Employers will have the opportunity to identify and collect resumes from potential job applicants.

Attendees will hear about the Minnesota Employers’ Fair Chance Hiring Guide that Twin Cities R!SE developed in partnership with Root & Rebound. This is a source for employers that is designed to assist employers navigate the labor market.

“Twin Cities R!SE, a long-time nationally-recognized pioneer in training low-income adults for employment, is pleased to present this important guide at a critical time for employers in our community,” said Tom Streitz, chief executive officer at Twin Cities R!SE. The guide covers legal compliance and minimizing risks, choosing a reliable company for background checks, and rewards of hiring fair chance workers.

Other resources for employers include the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program, which is a federal tax credit available to private sector businesses; and the Fidelity Bonding Program that is a no-cost employee insurance that protects employers against employee theft of money or property.

For more information about the event, contact Maria Lourey-Bowen, workforce development specialist, at 763-324-2317 or For more information about the guide, contact Jacquelyn Carpenter, business development director, Twin Cities R!SE at 612-666-8026 or