ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud nonprofit Career Solutions has received a $75,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust to help central Minnesota's immigrant population navigate the job market and polish their job-seeking skills.

Career Solutions plans to use the funding to continue breaking down barriers for both job seekers and potential employers.

"From an employer standpoint, it can be understanding the culture," says Tammy Biery, Career Solutions Executive Director. "From the job seeker's perspective, they're not always sure how to fill out a job application or list their experiences. How do their experiences transfer to the workforce in the United States? So, there's some coaching from that perspective."

Career Solutions staff will assist with activities like career planning, resume building, filling out job applications, interviewing and language interpretation. Because transportation can be a challenge, Biery says Somali-speaking career planners travel into the community to meet people where they are, such as the La Cruz Community Center in St. Cloud.

Funds will also expand Career Solutions' LEARN & EARN program, which helps young adults who have aged out of high school gain work experience while working toward a diploma through Adult Basic Education.

And, Biery says assistance also reaches youth with limited English skills, focusing on career exploration, financial literacy and community involvement.

"We try to give them work experience and educate them on the employment process," Biery says. "We speak to them about volunteering and giving back to the community.  We're trying to do the same thing, just at a different age level."

This is the third year Career Solutions has received grant funding from the Otto Bremer Trust.

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