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Public forum Thursday at Ridgewater College addresses demographics, voter ID and marriage amendments

WILLMAR - Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey will discuss how the state's changing demographics will affect jobs, education and the economy in the future during an appearance Thursday at Ridgewater College in Willmar.

In addition, he will discuss the impact of the proposed voter photo identification and marriage amendments to Minnesota's Constitution.

The public forum, which is sponsored by Ridgewater College, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Large Outreach Room, located on the second floor of the Fine Arts Building.

According to a press release from the Commissioner's office, Lindsey will discuss how Minnesota's demographics have shifted dramatically over the past decade, a trend that will accelerate and change the makeup of our workforce.

As predominantly white workers of the "baby boom" generation retire in increasing numbers, the share of people of color in the workforce is expected to more than double, he said.

"Minnesota will not have the highly skilled workers it will need in 2020 and beyond unless we find ways to include more minorities in the workforce today, and provide training and education for the workforce of tomorrow," said Lindsey.

Lindsey will also provide an overview of the Department of Human Rights' role in ending discrimination in Minnesota and will analyze the arguments regarding the two constitutional amendments on the ballot this fall, and will explain why the Department of Human Rights opposes the amendments.

A public comment and question-and-answer session will follow the commissioner's presentation.