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Huge Disparity in MN Unemployment Rates Drives Need for Opportunity Corps Navigators

AmeriCorps program has immediate need for ‘Navigators’ to help under/unemployed Minnesotans.

The need is great right now. To provide basic needs, a two-parent, two-child household needs a combined annual household income of $87,000...but 60% of MN households make less than $75,000/year.”
— Director of Opportunity Corps and Recovery Corps Alana Stimes
MINNEAPOLIS, MN, USA, August 3, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- In response to the huge disparity in unemployment rates among persons of color and Minnesotans without degrees, the AmeriCorps program Opportunity Corps has an immediate need for Opportunity Corps Navigators in the Twin Cities area to help under-employed and unemployed Minnesotans get on the path to economic self-sustainability.

According to a recent study released by the Minnesota Budget Project, there is a widening chasm in unemployment statistics within certain Minnesota populations. Despite Minnesota’s average unemployment rate of 4.5 percent last year, the rate among African Americans was 11 percent, and among Native Americans, 13 percent.

The same study revealed that unemployment among Minnesotans with less than a high school diploma was six times as high as that of Minnesotans with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Director of Opportunity Corps and Recovery Corps Alana Stimes said, “The need is particularly great right now. According to recent census data, 41 percent of households in Minnesota make less than $50,000 a year, while 60 percent make less than $75,000. A $50,000 yearly salary equals $25/hour, if working full-time. To provide ‘basic needs,’ a two-parent, two-child household would need a combined annual household income of $87,000, where both parents make at least $21/hour. For a single parent with two children, to meet basic needs in the Twin Cities, he/she would have to make more than $37 per hour, or $77,000/year.”

Opportunity Corps Navigators work with Twin Cities residents who are economically disadvantaged due to underemployment and/or under-education. Through research-based instruction and tools, members help program participants navigate employment and/or post-secondary education to meet their career goals and get a living-wage job.

Opportunity Corps members are extensively trained and receive:
• A modest living allowance
• An education award of up to $5,920
• Up to $2,000 annually in housing assistance
• Reduced fares on Metro Transit through the Metropolitan Council’s Transit Assistance Program
• Health insurance
• Childcare assistance.

Minnesota Opportunity Corps is an AmeriCorps program that helps low-income adults get good jobs and the training they need to advance in their career goals. Anyone interested in learning more about Opportunity Corps, or would like to apply to serve, should visit opportunitycorps.org or contact 612-206-3045.

Gary Young
Gary Young Ink
612-247-8123
email us here

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