News @ Noon: St. Cloud Chamber Wants to Attract Minority Business Owners, Help Immigrants Looking for Work
ST. CLOUD - Members of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce want to reach out more to the city's minority community.
Chamber President Teresa Bohnen says they have a goal of increasing memberships of minority owned businesses.
Chamber, and what a chamber does, can be foreign and not real compatible with what people know from other countries. And, in many countries, chamber is a government agency that they want to stay as far away from as they can. So, teaching what a chamber is in the United States, and that we really are run by our members is step one.
Bohnen says they also want to help well-educated second generation immigrants find jobs.
They have come up through the school system and maybe gone to the tech college or to SCSU. And they want to stay here with their families. They're having a difficult time connecting with employers in order to find jobs. So, we're looking at a program that would build mentorships and connect those people one-on-one with businesses who need them and their skills.
The chamber's new fiscal year starts in September.