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Minnesota grants $2M to arrange health care professional licensure

(The Center Square) – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Thursday seven organizations will receive grants to help fill health care jobs with internationally trained health care workers.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, there were a record-setting more than 52,000 health care and social assistance job vacancies in Minnesota, a DEED news release said. Health care is the Minnesota’s largest industry; the industry’s job vacancies account for about 25% of the state’s job vacancies, the release said.

Over two years, seven organizations will receive grants to help internationally trained health care professionals gain licensure. The workers earn professional licenses required to do similar work in Minnesota.

International Institute of Minnesota received the maximum award: $400,000.

The following organizations also received grants:

Organizations eligible for the grants include state or local government units including two- or four-year post-secondary institutions, nonprofit/community-based organizations, community action agencies or labor organizations in Minnesota with experience serving immigrant and refugee populations.

Minnesota has more than 470,000 foreign-born residents. In the past 10 years, the state has gained 105,000 new immigrants and refugees. More than 10% of Minnesota’s available labor force is foreign-born workers, up from 8% 10 years ago. More than half of the state’s recent labor force growth has been driven by immigrants.

“During a time of low unemployment, historic job vacancy rates, and an enormous demand for health care workers, we need to empower every available skilled health care worker in the state,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in the release. “This grant program helps organizations prepare internationally trained health care workers for licensure so we can bring those greatly needed workers into health care employment across Minnesota.” 


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