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St Paul (KROC AM News) - A Rochester religious organization was the only recipient of a special state workforce-related grant in southeast Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Friday announced recipients of the Targeted Community Capital Project grants.

According to DEED:
In recognition of the statewide impact of COVID-19, natural disasters, and the civil unrest that occurred in the last two years, the 2021 Minnesota legislature authorized $18 million for DEED to administer this competitive grant program, providing much-needed funding for complex and costly capital projects. Capital projects utilizing these funds must result in providing, increasing, and/or expanding access to economic development, education, or workforce development programs or services to underserved communities or economically disadvantaged persons or groups.

“We know the pandemic has had disproportionate impacts on Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities and on economically disadvantaged groups,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “This funding demonstrates the state’s commitment to a new chapter of equitable economic growth.”

Minnesota DEED
Minnesota DEED

A total of 149 proposals were received for the TCCP grant, totaling nearly $175-million in requests. Sixteen were selected, including one submitted by Masjed Abubakr Al-Seddiq, Inc. The organization operates the mosque located on N. Broadway in downtown Rochester. Its grant totals $1.5-million.

According to DEED:

Serving the East African community in Rochester, MAAS will utilize these funds to increase access for individuals to their workforce training and services. Renovating the second floor of the current space will expand bus driving, childcare provider, home health aide, and IT/coding training opportunities and increase job placement assistance.

“Many excellent proposals were submitted, and our team went through an extensive review to analyze the applications with significant input from the community,” said Marc Majors, DEED Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development. “Across the state, these grants will help provide development of spaces that Minnesotans can go to for job training, youth after-school programming, and other many important services that will make a real difference in communities.”

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