About a third of the 1,700 workers laid off by Target this month are Minneapolis residents, according to an official with the state's dislocated worker program.
Anthony Alongi, director of the Minnesota Job Partners' Dislocated Worker Program, updated the Minneapolis City Council on Wednesday on the work his agency is doing to ensure the laid-off workers get help polishing their resumes and finding new jobs.
He fielded questions from council members, who said they want to ensure the state is doing enough to help the workers move on -- particularly the workers who want to continue to both live and work in the city. Alongi said he expects about half of the former Target employees will seek help from his office, while many of the others will be successful in finding new employers on their own.
"You can expect a large number, particularly at a high-skill corporation like Target, to find work without any intervention at all," he said.
Council Member Lisa Bender, who represents Uptown and neighborhoods just south of downtown, said she knows many people moved to neighborhoods like those in her ward to work for large companies like Target with offices downtown. She said those workers often selected their homes so they could commute easily by bus, bike or a short walk, and now could be facing the project of finding new jobs that come with fewer transportation options.
"Losing those jobs in the downtown core in terms of the regional transportation connection is a significant piece, in and of itself," she said.
Alongi said his team is aware of the issue and is working to keep jobs in and around Minneapolis' downtown a focus of their efforts. He said it's also important for the layoffs not to be confused for a larger problem in the city's economy.
"It's a very safe place to find a job," he said. "The economy is doing incredibly well. This is a strategic restructuring and not an overall impact of a weak economy."