Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center Opens

Cutting an Opening Ribbon

Providing access to educational, workforce and career pathway services

President Pierce with other dignitaries at launch cut ribbon >>

March 12 marked the official launch and public opening of the Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center. The Center is a one-stop shop for educational, workforce and career pathway services with direct access to skill building opportunities that lead to well-paying jobs.

The Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center is a new collaboration between public sector and private non-profit partners to create a unique model to address the needs of the Cedar-Riverside community. The Center is focused on the following programming areas:

  • Employment/Jobs
  • Career Pathways
  • Skill Building
  • Training Credentials

Minneapolis College is one of four anchor partners for the Center, providing information about education and training opportunities available at Minneapolis College and the other 36 Colleges and Universities in the MN State system. Through a Perkins grant for career and technical education, Minneapolis College is also providing information technology hardware that can be used to access employment and education information. The emphasis will be on providing people real-time access to employment postings.

Minneapolis College - Providing the transformative power of education

Ribbon Cutting Group

From left: Career Services Director Julie
Poyzer, President Pierce, Dean of Continuing
Ed and Workforce Development Vince
Thomas, Student Affairs VP Patrick Troup.
In foreground: Dean of Students Becky

"Minneapolis College's mission is to provide access to the transformative power of education," said Minneapolis College Dean Vincent Thomas, J.D. who represented Minneapolis College at partner meetings and served as the internal project coordinator for the College's work leading up to the Center's opening.

"The Center allows Minneapolis College the chance to bring our resources to community residents who may otherwise be unable to access these resources on our campus."

According to local community leaders, youth and young adults in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood have a difficult time accessing employment and post-secondary education opportunities. The Center's target audience is neighborhood residents between the ages of 16 and 24.

Leading in diversity and inclusion

"The mission of the Center fits into the College's strategic priority to be a leader in diversity and inclusion," said Minneapolis College President Sharon Pierce who attended the opening. "The Center allows us to serve a Minneapolis neighborhood with a majority Somali and East African immigrant population who are seeking the opportunity to build their skills and obtain employment opportunities." By consolidating the services of a community based non-profit, City and County government, the County's Public Library and a Minnesota State public community and technical college in one location, the Center brings holistic, integrated employment and education services that utilize information technology to neighborhood youth and young adults. The goal is to reduce the unemployment rate in the area.

In addition to one full-time Minneapolis College employee, career navigator Rob Brace, being located at the Center, other services will be provided by Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick Troup, and Career Services Director Julie Poyzer. Minneapolis College also has a full-time employee at the MN Workforce Development Center located at 800 North Broadway. The MN Workforce Development Center has similar goals as the Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center.

The Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center is open weekdays from 8 am until 8 pm and is located at 505 15th Avenue South in Minneapolis. Daily operations are managed by the non-profit organization EMERGE.