LSS Center for New Americans & Multi-Cultural Center
In October 2022, LSS began integrating the Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls (MCC) services with goals of strengthening and optimizing their services. The strong overlap of resources has created great synergy between both organizations. Both LSS Center for New Americans and the MCC have a unified mission to serve and celebrate the diversity in our community.
By joining LSS, the MCC can hone in on engaging and celebrating the many diverse communities in Sioux Falls because the administrative needs like finance, human resources and information technology are incorporated into LSS’s administrative services. The MCC gains stability for long-term success and the synergy that is created by aligning together better serves the community.
Valeria Wicker began her role to lead the Multi-Cultural Center in Sioux Falls last November. She comes to LSS from South Dakota State University, Brookings, where she served as a program coordinator for work with Lakota/Dakota programming. “We are excited to have Valeria in this role. Her education, fluency in Spanish, more than ten years of experience working in education and five years working with tribal nations will be valuable for the future of the MCC. She will do a great job in community building and empowerment in Sioux Falls,” says Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, LSS President/CEO.
“I feel very privileged to be at the helm of the Multi-Cultural Center. The vision of the MCC is very similar to my personal conviction that society is at its best when its wealth of cultures, backgrounds and experiences are valued and thriving,” says Wicker. “MCC is part of the rich tapestry of this great city.”
LSS Multi-Cultural Center
The spirit of the MCC’s mission, “to provide experiences and opportunities for all people to learn, celebrate and share through our community’s cultural diversity,” will be maintained through LSS’s vision that “all people in South Dakota will be healthy, safe and accepted” regardless of their background, beliefs or ethnicity.
In 2021 MCC’s free workforce development program helped more than 80 individuals find employment. As LSS prepares to welcome more New Americans into our community in the next two years, it will greatly benefit our growing workforce to have more resources and people available to support a growing number of those seeking employment.
LSS Center for New Americans
LSS began providing resettlement services for displaced Europeans in 1948, following World War II. Since then, we have helped thousands of individuals and families and continue to view our work with New Americans as a vital part of our mission, and essential service to our community. From the moment they are greeted warmly by their case worker at the airport, to setting up their first home, LSS Center for New Americans dedicated staff and volunteers work with New Americans every step of the way to ensure their success and to help them feel supported as they work toward self-sufficiency.
Individuals must complete 45 hours of community orientation, attend at least six hours of English language training per week in addition to workforce training to qualify for federal cash assistance. In 2021, 100% of working-age adults became self-sufficient within eight months of arrival and had a starting wage of $15.87. LSS Center for New Americans partners with local non-profits to provide fee waivers annually for services to those who have fallen on hard times and are unemployed. Services range from obtaining a state ID to obtaining an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which allows the individuals to work.
Find Your Match
Thanks to a generous donor, your donation during South Dakota CARES to support the LSS Center for New Americans and the Multi-Cultural Center will be matched up to $25,000. Your donation this spring will go further than ever before! Please consider donating today to help create a strong path forward for a new and exciting partnership between LSS and the Multi-Cultural Center.