House Capital Investment hears a bill related to East African workforce development center: Notes

Notes by Cirien Saadeh

HF3127: Ka Joog funding provided for a workforce training center, and money appropriated. 

Chief Author: Rep. Hassan (DFL – District 62B)

Bill presented by Rep. Samakab Hussein (DFL – District 65A) 

Rep. Hussein presents the bill

  • “House File 3127 is very important to our community. Ka Joog Foundation has had many years of success in the community for the last 25 years and they have been working with mentorships and helping kids, and this will provide an opportunity to get a workforce place development for them to provide opportunity for our young generation in East African Community in the metro.”
  • “Ka Joog has been working throughout the state, not only in St. Paul and Minneapolis but also Greater Minnesota.” 


Mohamed Farah, Executive Director of Ka Joog 

  • “[Ka Joog is] dedicated to enhancing the lives of Somali-American youth by utilizing education, mentorship, employment, and the arts. Our mission is to provide community-based and culturally-specific programs and services to youth and their families through education, the arts, and economic development.”
  • Says Ka Joog works across Minnesota and in other states including North Dakota 
  • “We work with East African community members. We focus on our efforts in the development of youth and families in making them as economically sufficient as possible.”
  • “The proposed bill before you is an investment in our young people where we will create a workforce training center in Minneapolis. We will focus on making sure young people succeed in job skills training for a wide range of employment skills, entrepreneurship, and ongoing career learning center.”
  • Says jobs skills training would include technology, the health sector and health careers, accounting, business management, marketing, business administration, public service, and more
  • “Providing hands-on training is an essential part of this program.”

Bill McCrum, Architect with Hopewell 360

  • Says the workforce training center is located at an intersection with access to mass transit and that the building meets all pertinent zoning ordinances and parking requirements
  • “It is a net-zero building and we will have solar energy on the roof and other places.”
  • Says the office includes a general office, community service office, a dental office, a mental health office, and spaces dedicated to training, educational arts, and more
    • Says that some retail businesses may be in the building on the first floor
  • “The proposal is the highest and best use for this site in Minneapolis.”

Question from Rep. Dean Urdahl (GOP – District 16A) 

  • “How many people participate in Ka Joog?”


  • Says that Ka Joog has worked with over 700 young people in the past year, as well as adults throughout the state

Rep. Hussein

  • “This is a great opportunity for training and will create income, employment, and youth leadership opportunity. And we need to empower our youth.”
  • “Ka Joog means stay away, it gives a warning for our kids. It was created many years ago and it’s telling the kids to learn the language and to stay away from something that is going to hurt you and this is good for you.” 

No action was taken on the legislation. 

There is no Senate companion to the House bill. 

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