CONTACT: Mai Moua, Ph.D.
November 16, 2016 Chief Operating Officer
(651) 495-1517

HAP Receives $980,000 from MN Department of Employment and Economic Development to Improve Racial Equity in Economic Sector

Saint Paul, MN – Hmong American Partnership (HAP) has been selected to receive four MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) equity grants totaling $980,000 to improve economic opportunities for Hmong, Southeast Asian, and immigrant and refugee populations in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.

HAP’s service areas of North Minneapolis and Northwest Hennepin County and the East Side and Frogtown neighborhoods of Saint Paul are home to a large and rapidly expanding Southeast Asian and immigrant and refugee community. Due to language and educational barriers, unemployment and poverty rates in these neighborhoods are extremely high. The Hmong community, in particular, has the lowest per capita income in the state. Minnesota faces significant workforce shortages within the next decade and the immigrant and refugee community will be critical to not only fueling business growth, but also to maintaining the economic stability of the region.

“HAP has always been an advocate for racial equity in economic and workforce development for Hmong, Asian American and Southeast Asians, and immigrant and refugee populations,” remarked Bao Vang, President & CEO of HAP. “We’re so pleased that a review panel of community members recognized our commitment to creating jobs and removing barriers to equitable employment. This demonstrates the continued confidence that our community and DEED has in our mission and our work to make impactful social change.”

Programs under the DEED Equity Grants will provide services under an appropriation approved by the Minnesota Legislature earlier this year and signed into law by Governor Dayton. The goal is to eliminate barriers to economic participation among people of color, women, youth, people with disabilities, and/or veterans in Minnesota.


HAP is a community development organization whose mission is: to empower the community to embrace the strengths of our cultures while achieving our potential. HAP provides critical services and support to more than 15,000 community members annually. For more information about HAP and its programs, please visit