HIRE Minnesota works where we can make real change to eliminate racial employment disparities in Minnesota. Here are some examples of our work in action.

Minnesota Department of Transportation

The Minnesota Department of Transportation spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually to build our state’s roads, bridges and transitways. Despite being a significant job creator with access to strong workforce development programs, MnDOT has never met its goal to hire 6 percent women and up to 32 percent people of color each year.

In 2009, HIRE Minnesota stepped in to demand change. Since then, we have brought hundreds of people to MnDOT headquarters to send the message that we wouldn’t leave until women and people of color got a fair share of the jobs. We have also engaged in collaborative solutions, taking a leadership role in designing specific tools and strategies that could result in more jobs for women and people of color.

There is still work to do, but with our help the numbers are slowly improving. In 2015, 548 people of color and 412 women were employed on MnDOT projects, compared to only 114 people of color and 62 women when we began working with the agency in 2009.

Minnesota Vikings stadium construction

MSFA Aug 9The new U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis cost $1 billion in public funds. HIRE Minnesota worked to ensure the jobs created by that investment will equitably benefit people of color and women.

We worked with public stakeholders to craft a Stadium Equity Plan (read the story) that detailed a plan for reaching the project’s hiring goals. The plan established an Employment Assistance Firm through a contract with HIRE Minnesota partner Summit Academy OIC, to set a new precedent for community involvement in supporting hiring equity on major public projects.

At the end of the project, the stadium was finished with over 36 percent of its project hours worked by people of color. This translated to over 1.3 million hours of work and over $39 million in wages to people of color. Learn more here.

Central Corridor Light Rail Transit

At an estimated $1 billion, the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit project was the largest public works project in Minnesota history. Over the three year life of construction, HIRE Minnesota worked with the Metropolitan Council to proactively help the agency meet its goal to hire 18 percent people of color and 6 percent women.

We helped design better tracking mechanism to ensure the agency and its con

In the end, Met Council and the contractors exceeded the goals with 19.1 percent of the hours performed by people of color and nearly 7 percent by women. This set an important–and long overdue–precedent of a public agency hiring a workforce that came closer to matching the demographics of the community it represents.tractors tracked and reported monthly progress. When the contractors fell short, we challenged them to take immediate action.

City of Minneapolis

In December of 2011, the Minneapolis Downtown Council set out a vision for downtown Minneapolis. They proposed development in downtown, creating new jobs, and attracting many new residents.  But they made no mention of equity or reducing disparities.

HIRE Minnesota began engaging the Downtown Council and the city of Minneapolis to tie major public investments with reducing disparities. We have proposed that when the city invests in major development projects, a percentage of that money goes to long-term, sustainable and effective job training and placement programs.

We will continue to make our case that the health of our region is dependent not only on creating new jobs, but also on reducing disparities.

SNAP E&T (Employment & Training)
IMG_2195Minnesota is leaving millions of uncapped federal dollars at the table to provide employment and training services to SNAP recipients. In early November, HIRE brought over 50 people to a Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership meeting to provide testimony to DEED Commissioner on the importance of receiving this money. Due to our advocacy and organizing around this meeting and our follow up afterwards, DEED (Department of Employment & Economic Development) and DHS (Department of Human Services) have committed to creating a plan and a timeline to make sure that Minnesota accesses these funds.
We will continue to monitor and push the state to ensure that this policy is implemented in its full extent.