Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced a significant increase in its workforce inclusion goals for people of color on state construction projects. The new goals are 32 percent for Hennepin and Ramsey Counties and 22 percent for the rest of the region. The previous goal was 11 percent. These increased goals demonstrate a commitment from the state of Minnesota to remedying our region’s unacceptable racial employment disparities.
By raising awareness of the critical importance of racial employment equity in Minnesota, our powerful coalition played a major role in making this happen.
With MnDOT failing to meet its goals, we showed up and made sure they more than doubled the number of people of color working on state construction projects. When the Minnesota Department of Human Rights faced budget cuts that threatened its mission, we stepped in and helped preserve their funding.
Now, the Department of Human Rights has proven to be a strong ally for racial employment equity in Minnesota. HIRE Minnesota applauds MDHR for its commitment to Minnesota’s diverse construction workforce and to the economic health of the entire Twin Cities region.
HIRE Minnesota recognizes that setting a goal is only a first step toward achieving representational participation on state construction projects – but it’s an important first step. Experience shows that goals can matter, especially when there is community of people like us planning for and supporting strong implementation efforts. The Central Corridor LRT and Target Field projects are prime examples of how workforce goals can be met – and even exceeded – when all players are committed to the same goal.
In order to maintain our economic competitiveness, every employer in our state must play a role in remedying our racial employment disparities. With these new goals, the state of Minnesota takes a welcome and overdue step toward putting all Minnesotans to work.