MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota is proud to have one of lowest unemployment rates in the country.

But dig deeper, and you'll find minority communities face greater employment challenges. Sharon Smith-Akinsanya is on a mission to close the gap.

"You want to think of me as a match maker. I am bringing top Minnesota employers together with awesome people of color who want to find them," she said.

The matching begins Thursday at the annual People of Color Career Fair. Last year, more than 1,200 people attended.

"Some people will say, 'I don't understand why you must a career fair for minorities only. What about non-white people?' All people are welcome to the People of Color Career Fair. We are solving a problem."

According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, the 2015 unemployment rate for minorities in the state was 8.2% compared to 3.4% of whites.

"In my role, the governor said you know what, we want to make sure that our workforce reflects the diversity of Minnesota," said James Burroughs, Minnesota's Chief Inclusion Officer. "He set a goal of 20% of people of color in the state of Minnesota in their work force."

"Minnesota is a great place to live, work and play for everyone. And unless everyone is gainfully employed that is not going to happen," Smith-Akinsanya added.

The fair begins at 9 a.m. Thursday and will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Click here for more information.