Role of Intermediaries in Linking TANF Recipients with Jobs: Final Report. St. Paul, Minnesota

02/10/2000

St. Paul (Ramsey County), known for it's friendly people and family-style community, has been voted the most livable city, best place to do business, best place for working women, and best place to raise a family among other distinctions. As one of the smaller urban sites, the population of St. Paul is about 259,606.

St. Paul has a very large immigrant population from a range of ethnic groups including Hmong, Lao, Vietnamese, and other Asian immigrants, as well as Somalis from East Africa. The language and cultural differences unique to these immigrant populations pose challenges for the service delivery and employability of these groups.

The local economy of St. Paul is strong with an unemployment rate of 2.5 percent and a number of large corporations such as 3M, Ecolab and Minnesota Life among others doing business in the area. Most of the jobs focus on manufacturing, service and high technology. In addition to a range of employment options, Ramsey County is filled with educational opportunities. With a number of technical colleges, two public universities, and five private liberal arts colleges, St. Paul has more institutions of higher learning than any city west of Boston.

Minnesota's basic philosophy guiding its welfare programs, which is to help people leave poverty, not simply to reduce welfare rolls has contributed to only a small decline in the number of families receiving TANF, but higher wages for those who do leave cash assistance (average of $7.77 per hour).

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