Jun. 10, 2014
A national report, released today by Good Jobs First, celebrates the restoration of the historic St. Paul Union Depot which created 660,000 hours of work for about 2,000 workers across 13 different trades. The report lifts up the work of HIRE Minnesota, whose efforts were instrumental in ensuring that people of color and women were hired for the jobs generated through the Union Depot project. HIRE Minnesota is proud of this significant accomplishment. This is yet another example of how public investments in job creation can reduce racial disparities when there is an intentional focus on equity. Let’s celebrate this victory while we continue to build on its success.

From the report
: “The Minnesota Department of Transportation, compiling payroll data, reports that through November 2013, minority workers put in almost 125,000 hours or 18.9 percent of the job (against a target of 18 percent), and that women put in more than 45,000 hours or 6.9 percent (against a target of 6 percent).”

View report online.

Read more about HIRE Minnesota’s campaign victories:

Hiring Equity: Can MnDOT End 20 Years of Failure to Hire People of Color

Jun. 5, 2014
Last week the Met Council and Hennepin County held a public hearing to give an opportunity for communities to share their thoughts on the Southwest Light Rail (SWLRT). HIRE Minnesota and 30 allied partners working to ensure that the communities’ voice are at the front of these discussions, made the case to the Met Council and Hennepin County that SWLRT should not only be built but should be built with equity in mind.

Prior to the hearing, we participated in a press conference attended by over fifty people including Hennepin County Commissioners and Met Council members. Reverend Jerry McAfee and Louis King laid out one of the most important equity issues for SWLRT – jobs. They discussed the need to increase hiring goals on construction and called for more training opportunities so that people of color are ready for these jobs. But they also mentioned the importance of expanding the jobs focus to other professions and talked about the need to partner with businesses to connect workers to job centers along the SWLRT line.

The ideas that we presented are not new. Communities have been developing solutions to the problems that they face for years and have made sure that their needs are front and center as new development projects arise. We have seen great success on other projects such as on the Green Line – a project that secured three missing stops and also met its hiring goals for people of color because the community was there. We’re going to keep building on these successes and pushing for commitments from Hennepin County and the Met Council to ensure that SWLRT is an equity train.