The Immigrant Employment Connection Group recently held an informational event at Resource Training and Solutions in Sartell, with the support of the Stearns-Benton Employment Training Center and the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation. Representatives from CentraCare Health, Coleman Company, Pilgrim’s Pride, and the Transportation Center for Excellence, Inc. were all on hand to share their experiences of tapping into the local immigrant workforce.

iecgAs demographics shift in Central Minnesota, employers are looking for ways to tap into the new talent to fill positions. Nancy Myers, Training Manager at Pilgrim’s Pride noted that any assumptions of the local immigrant workforce being unskilled are categorically false. Ms. Myers noted that many immigrants have backgrounds containing significant education and experience. Local employers that are able to tap into the immigrant workforce, are also tapping into a highly-skilled workforce.

The focus of the event was to inform local employers about the resources that are available to them regarding concerns or questions they may have about hiring local immigrants. Technology allows for companies to quickly contact interpreters and advisors who will be able to help solve any conflicts or concerns that may arise between employees and management. In addition, numerous other Central Minnesota businesses have a wealth of experience when it comes to hiring new immigrants and can share advice and feedback. While there will likely be some initial costs associated with hiring local immigrants, employers are advised that it is best to view it as an investment in the company’s future sustainability.