The Fall 2017 People Of Color Career Fair To Connect Thousands Of Candidates With Minnesota’s Top Employers

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The Twin Cities’ largest career fair dedicated to professionals of color returns to the Minneapolis Convention Center, Tuesday, October 10. Co-sponsored by the State of MN, the diversity recruitment event is set to host more than 40 of the area’s top corporations vying to connect with thousands of potential candidates of color.

Fall 2017 - People Of Color Career Fair

People Of Color Career Fair - October 10, 2017

“The People Of Color Career Fair is unlike any other job fair,” said Sharon Smith-Akinsanya. "We are calling upon top CEOs to ‘lead out loud’ and demonstrate their personal commitment to diversity and inclusion. It is a bold and necessary solution to an urgent problem. And, it works."

The People Of Color Career Fair returns for its third semi-annual event connecting Minnesota’s top employers with candidates of color, Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Since launching in October 2016, the People Of Color Career Fair has become the Twin Cities’ largest career fair, attracting thousands of professionals of color while providing an excellent resource for corporate, private and government employers seeking to ramp up diversity recruitment efforts.

Though Minnesota has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the rate among African American and Hispanic populations remains disproportionately high at a 14.9% rate compared to 2.9% for whites. For those with college degrees, the disparity is still triple at 9% for people of color and only 3% for whites.

Presented by Midco, State of Minnesota and Thrivent Financial, the People Of Color Career Fair not only brings top employers together with talented candidates to help reduce disparity among people of color in the state, while also working to combat the increasingly urgent worker shortfall created by a surge of retiring baby boomers.

"We are honored to be a presenting sponsor," Brad Hewitt, CEO of Thrivent, said. "There’s overwhelming evidence showing that a more diverse workforce increases competitiveness. Getting this right is particularly important for Thrivent as we serve the broader community. [...] Thrivent is all in!"

Midco president and CEO, Pat McAdaragh, agreed. "Increasing our workforce’s diversity is a priority at Midco. The People Of Color Career Fair helps us share our story, engage with candidates of color and be part of a dialogue that helps move Midco forward."

"The People Of Color Career Fair is unlike any other job fair," said Sharon Smith-Akinsanya, founder and executive producer of the People Of Color Career Fair. "We are working directly with employers to proactively solve the unemployment gap among people of color. We are calling upon top CEOs to 'lead out loud' and demonstrate their personal commitment to diversity and inclusion. It is a bold and necessary solution to an urgent problem. And, it works."

The People Of Color Career Fair is supported and backed by the state’s top elected official, Governor Mark Dayton.

"We must do everything possible to ensure our public and private workforces better reflect the rich and abundant diversity of all Minnesotans," said Governor Mark Dayton. "As a founding partner and sponsor of the People of Color Career Fair, the State of Minnesota is again demonstrating our strong and continued commitment to achieving this important goal."

Each People Of Color Career Fair results in hiring successes, including Sina Pleggenkuhle who landed a job as Group Sales Account Executive with the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts; Omaar Balton, whose local news feature led to his job as HR Services Representative for U.S. Bank; and Tracey Gibson, who now serves as Minnesota's executive state recruiter.

Participating employers include Midco, State of Minnesota, Thrivent Financial, U.S. Bank, Comcast, Metro Transit, Target, Allianz Life Insurance of North America, Bremer Bank, Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, General Mills, Parsons Electric, Cargill, Ordway, Hennepin County, City of Minneapolis, Securian, RBC Wealth Management, Andersen Corporation and Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. A few spots are still available for select employers interested in exhibiting.

The Fall 2017 People Of Color Career Fair takes place Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 10am-3pm in Room 200 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, located at 1301 2nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55403.

Attendance is free and open to the public. Walk-ins are welcome, however, advance registration is recommended to secure a free professional headshot. Attendees can also download a free Metro Transit bus or train ride to and from the event.

To register or for more information, visit POCCareerFair.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About People Of Color Career Fair
The People Of Color Career Fair was founded in October 2016 by Sharon Smith-Akinsanya, owner of rae mackenzie group, inc., to actively address the unemployment and underemployment gap for people of color in Minnesota. The semi-annual event makes it easier for Minnesota’s top employers to connect with thousands of candidates of color and improve diversity workforce recruitment and retention efforts. It also creates opportunities for people of color to identify and get hired by employers who actively seeking to create a more diverse workforce.

About Sharon Smith-Akinsanya
Sharon Smith-Akinsanya, is owner of rae mackenzie group, inc., a firm dedicated to advising and consulting Minnesota’s top corporations -- including Fortune 500 companies such as Target, U.S. Bank, Comcast Thrivent Financial and the State of Minnesota -- on diversity recruitment, inclusion and retention strategies.

Sharon is a long-time Twin Cities resident with more than 20 years of experience as a strategist and diversity marketing consultant and advisor. She is known as a “secret weapon” to her corporate partners for giving them a competitive edge in marketing, recruiting, retaining and building stronger relationships with people of color. Her mission is to make Minnesota a great place to live, work and play for all.

To contact Sharon, or the rae mackenzie group, please email info(at)rmgaccess(dot)com.

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