Demographic changes and an aging population make workforce development as important as ever

By Sheilah Howard • JFCS Career Services Director

September is Workforce Development Month, a time to honor workforce development leaders and staff across Minnesota, as well as draw attention to the resources available to those looking for work and to employers who need workers. In Minnesota, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and its business and nonprofit partners throughout the state are working hard to connect all Minnesotans who need work with employment and to help employers reach often overlooked labor pools.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate in July was at 1.8%, the lowest recorded anywhere in the U.S. since such records started being kept nearly a half century ago. Even before the pandemic, there were major changes underway in Minnesota’s workforce due to dramatic demographic changes in our state and across the country, according to DEED. In Minnesota, more than a half million people will reach the age of 65 between 2015 and 2035, leading to a decline in the share of the working age population from 62% to 57% during that time. In addition, by 2035, one in four Minnesotans will be from a community of color or Indigenous population.

“We know that Minnesotans who are Black, have disabilities, or are justice system-involved and others experience higher unemployment than white Minnesotans,” said Scott Schulte, Chair of the Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards (MAWB) and Anoka County Commissioner. “Local workforce development staff who provide CareerForce services across the state are committed to address these disparities.”

JFCS delivers an array of job coaching, training and career development services for people of all faiths and backgrounds. So far in 2022, JFCS employment counselors have supported over 800 people on their career journey in the following programs:

  • Dislocated Worker – Helping those who have been laid off make strategic decisions about their professional futures
  • IT Pathways – Connecting those who are interested in starting an IT career with the resources needed for success, with a focus on diversifying the IT workforce
  • Minnesota Family Investment Program – Supporting families who receive public assistance as they move toward self-sufficiency through employment
  • Project EM – Providing access to a national network of counselors and workshops to help those who are unemployed or underemployed
  • Vocational Rehabilitation – Providing personalized services to individuals with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment

JFCS’ certified professionals can help you with every aspect of your job search. Our programs empower people to explore and identify their visions of career success, including access to or support for career training For more information on JFCS Career Services call 952-417-2111 or fill out our Career Interest Form here.

Employers who would like to contact JFCS regarding open positions can email the job posting to or call Murwa Mohamed, Employer Relations Specialist, at 952-417-2121.