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Business and Employment Assessment: Understanding Employment Practices in the Harrison Neighborhood.

Malen, Melissa Peterson.

The Harrison Neighborhood Association (HNA), an advocacy and community organizing group, supports both employers in Harrison and residents of Harrison in building economic development opportunities as well as social and economical equity. The HNA is involved in advocating for the community on current topics such as redevelopment planning, light rail transportation planning, and economic development such as advocacy for establishment of businesses in the neighborhood that offer equitable opportunities for residents to obtain products and services as well as potential employment.

The research presented in this report offers descriptions of employment patterns and practices of employers in the Harrison Neighborhood. Several main themes regarding Harrison’s employment practices have been identified to include that jobs available in Harrison have steadily decreased by 41% between 2002-2009 according to Census data. Most residents work outside of the Harrison neighborhood in locations such as Minneapolis and first-ring suburbs and most employees that work in Harrison do not live in Harrison. Employers generally run small businesses, hire few people per year and locate employees through social networking and free online job posting. Most employers rate Harrison as a good place to conduct business because it is located in a convenient location close to downtown and freeways. In addition, many businesses have been located in Harrison for a long period of time and do not have plans to relocate or close. Health care, retail trade or wholesale trade represents the largest percentage of jobs by industry. However, a unique aspect of Harrison is that 66% of the employers are located in the International Market Square building and offer interior design services and products. By contrast, the employer offering the highest number of jobs at 200 total jobs and 25 new hires per year is a commercial laundry.

A theme that emerged regarding environmental concern for employers in Harrison is that an inflated perception exists that Harrison is unsafe and prone to crime. Although some employers report having been victims of vandalism, property damage, and theft from autos, most consider Harrison safe. Employers see a need for more communication to the community about what Harrison has to offer and more opportunities for community networking with the goal of developing higher levels of community awareness and social cohesion.

Understanding the employment practices of Harrison businesses informs the HNA about opportunities that Harrison residents and non-residents have with regard to working, whether inside or outside of the Harrison Neighborhood.


Publication date: 
Conducted on behalf of Harrison Neighborhood Association. Supported by Neighborhood Partnerships for Community Research (NPCR), a program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota.
42 pp.
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