- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The city of Sioux Falls is dedicating money to put more immigrants and refugees to work.

City officials have earmarked $170,000 to help the Sioux Falls Multi-Cultural Center and the Training Solutions Institute equip foreign-born residents with the language and workplace skills they will need to fill some of the more than 2,000 vacant jobs in the city.

The city has more than 10,000 immigrants and refugees. When it comes to addressing the worker shortage, improving the existing workforce is just as important as enticing people to move to Sioux Falls, Community Development Director Darrin Smith told the Argus Leader newspaper (https://argusne.ws/1DbV7oJ ).

“The opportunity we found in meeting with a number of organizations in the community . is with the minority and immigrant population to help fill jobs in the workforce,” he said.

The Multi-Cultural Center will use the $70,000 it was awarded to teach as many as 100 immigrants and refugees basic job skills such as punching a time clock, showing up on time and interacting with employers and co-workers.

“Cultural differences are huge,” center Executive Director Christy Nicolaisen said.

Where the Multi-Cultural Center places emphasis on getting people jobs in the hospitality industry, the Training Solutions Institute will focus more on creating 40 job-ready candidates for construction jobs, using its $99,400 grant.

“I would say that we’re probably looking at manufacturing and transportation . as to where we can be the most help,” Director Lon Hird said.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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