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Forum to discuss employment barriers for minorities

Leaders from the African-American and Native American communities plan to meet with city officials and local business representatives next week concerning employment barriers facing racial minorities in the Twin Ports.

Henry Banks, host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s “People of Color with Henry Banks,” said in a release that local racial minorities who either are unemployed or under-employed are welcome to attend the meeting Wednesday night at the Central Hillside Community Center, 12 E. Fourth St., Duluth.

It’s important to have a conversation, Banks said, because African Americans and other racial minorities are needed to fill open jobs in the area. Unemployment is disproportionately high for racial minorities in Duluth, he said.

Job seekers will have the chance to give employers their credentials and contact information, as well as discuss potential employment and training opportunities.

Local business, union and policy leaders are invited to attend. Banks said dialogue between employers and prospective employees could help reduce barriers in education, training and transportation and improve awareness of job openings.

Snacks will be available starting at 6 p.m., and formal discussions will start at 6:30.

Sponsors for the meeting include “People of Color with Henry Banks,” the Duluth Human Rights Office and Idle No More.