About Us


Provide access to employment, education, and training opportunities for Cedar-Riverside residents by bringing employers and higher education institutions into the community to support building prosperity for all.

The History of the Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center

The idea for the center was in response to the nearly 18% unemployment rate as well as the estimated 30% of working-age adults who have not completed high school level education in Cedar-Riverside. The Cedar-Riverside Partnership saw these alarming numbers as a gap that could be filled with a holistic approach to education and employment. In September 2016, the Cedar-Riverside Partnership succeeded in raising $950,000 in capital funds for the construction of the Opportunity Center.

Many centers have targeted this area, but what makes the Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center different is it’s tailored for the community it serves. Every decision was made with the community in mind, such as: the use of large windows translates to transparency for many cultures represented, the staff hired has proficiency in various languages to connect with community members, programs are culturally relevant, and the building is easily accessible to those who need it most.

Now, the Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center is a one-stop-shop for educational and workforce resources as well as a pipeline to quality jobs for people of all ages, made possible through the committed presence of public and private sector employers. The ultimate goal of the Opportunity Center is to reduce unemployment and increase higher educational attainment and enrollment within the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

See Our Annual Report For Recent Work


The Partners that make this happen

EMERGE Community Development

EMERGE is the managing partner of the center, facilitating day-to-day operations. EMERGE provides intake, assessment, job search/career exploration, employment counseling, job development, job placements, and case management services to youth and adult job seekers in the neighborhood.

Hennepin County Library

The library partners with other organizations to build enthusiasm, spark ideas, and develop skills that support career pathways for youth in the Cedar-Riverside community.

Hennepin County Workforce Development

Hennepin County Workforce Development helps oversee the employment aspect of the Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center and assists with the recruitment of employer partners.

Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC)

MCTC assists individuals at the center by providing information on options available for higher education or workforce skills training at MCTC and the other 36 colleges and universities who are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

City of Minneapolis

The City of Minneapolis coordinates services in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood through community engagement and collaboration under the leadership of Saeed Bihi, Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center Manager. The City also facilitates relationships between employers, educators, and community partners.