Strong economic growth in Minnesota and the Twin Cities presents a golden opportunity to close our unacceptable racial disparities in employment and for employers and policymakers to pursue a variety of promising strategies that build toward greater workforce equity.
Good Jobs Wanted is the second of four reports to be released by Growth & Justice as part of our Workforce Equity for a Competitive Economy project. The report recommends tying support for economic development projects to Community Benefit Agreements; using new and better measurement tools to evaluate projects for equity performance; improving accountability so that commitments to hiring goals are met; targeting business development programs to mid-sized businesses that are able to grow in communities of color; and using existing workforce development programs to assess the interests and skills of underemployed minority populations, then shaping economic development to take advantage of those assets.
The broader theme of growing inequality and race gaps in education and economic outcomes are outlined in the cover article of the Star Tribune’s OpEx section on Sunday, June 16, headlined Fixing Minnesota’s Employment Gap, by Growth & Justice President Dane Smith. The article concludes: “The most important things to remember are that our newcomers are not importantly different; we are not essentially racists, and a more equitable workforce will be healthier economically for all of us in the long run.”
The Workforce Equity for a Competitive Economy project is outlined in the initial report, Inseparable Imperatives. Other published commentaries by Growth & Justice on this subject include: The Difference Between Equity and Equality and Job One (and Two and Three): Workforce Equity for a Competitive Economy.
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