HOW WE WORK

 

3 A’s FOR CHANGE: AWARENESS, ACTION, ACCOUNTABILITY:

  • Changing the people who change organizations: Equipping generations of leaders to make people-centered, data-informed decisions.

  • Changing organizations that change communities: Equipping organizations with knowledge, tools, relationships, to change policies and practices.

  • Building networks of people & organizations that will change our region and the world: Equipping networks with the data, infrastructure, platforms, and promotion to ensure relevance, responsiveness, and impact.


WHAT DO WE DO? WE DEPLOY 6 LEVERS AT THE INTERSECTION OF OUR 3 FOCUS AREAS TO ACHIEVE CHANGE:

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  1. Advocacy: We advocate for and support public and private sector organizations in developing and codifying more inclusive policies and practices

  2. Paradigm Shift: We’re changing the narrative about real economic opportunity for everyone in our region that can come by closing racial gaps; And we’re elevating an asset-based narrative about communities of color in our region

  3. Facilitating Collaboration: Drive accountability & create new platforms for rigor, relevance & scale by facilitating responsive collaborations and partnerships

  4. Research: Fueling growth strategies with cutting edge, inter-disciplinary, applied research through partnerships with the Brookings Institution, Urban Institute and MinnesotaCompass

  5. Action: We pilot ambitious, cross-sector innovative initiatives on a limited basis.

  6. Philanthropy: Drive collaborative, racially responsive, data-informedinvestment.


TRANSFORMATIONAL WORKFORCE SYSTEMS CHANGE:

We are pursuing comprehensive change to the way we approach employing low-income, chronically unemployed people of color. Our approach is people centric, data informed, and market responsive. Our strategies include:

  • Maximizing employer pathways to under-tapped communities and increasing employer inclusivity, engagement and responsiveness – Itasca Partnership*: We provide a direct connection to ready and capable talent for employers throughout the region, and offer inclusion education and coaching to HR leaders and supervisors to help build inclusive workplaces.

  • North@Work: Transforming the way we employ chronically unemployed African American men in NorthMinneapolis

  • North Minneapolis No Wrong Door Partnership: Increasing the effectiveness and responsiveness of the public workforce system and their networks in North Minneapolis through human centered design

  • Sector Skills Academy: A regional partnership to develop the inclusivity of employers, post-secondary institutions, and training organizations advancing sector pathways throughout the region, in partnership with Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and the Aspen Institute.


GROWING JOBS, INCOME, AND WEALTH THROUGH CORPORATE PROCUREMENT WITH MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES:

Minnesota’s minority-owned businesses generate $5.2B in annual revenue, and are growing at a rate that is 3.5 times that of all businesses in the state. If those businesses were at parity with whites, they would employ 87,000 more workers!

Today, a minuscule percent of corporate discretionary purchasing is spent with local, minority-owned businesses - despite the significant economic impact that could come from even modest increases in spending with local businesses.

Corporations asked the Center for help to identify policies and practices that may create unintended barriers to entry for local minority-owned firms and small businesses, and to create strategies to increase economic opportunity for local return on investment. Local minority-owned firms, and the CDFI’s who support them, asked the Center to help provide the infrastructure scaling the economic impact of engaging minority-owned businesses in the corporate supply chain.

Through support from JP Morgan Chase, and Business Bridge, we’re responding to those requests with the creation of Procuring Inclusive Growth, modeled on Chicago United’s Five Forward Program. This initiative will launch in 2019.


EQUITABLE REGIONAL AND LOCAL LAND-USE PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:

The Center is supporting 6 cities and the Metropolitan Council in strategically incorporating economic inclusion into the future of our regions’ economy. The Center advocated for the inclusion of Racial Equity goals and tools in the drafting of the region's Comprehensive 2040 Plans to the 187 jurisdictions submitting plans to the Metropolitan Council, amplifying the importance of building a regional inclusive economy through the implementation of plans that include racial equity goals, data disaggregated by race, and racial equity tools.

We prioritized the 6 cities with the highest percentage of people of color for deeper support in establishing their final plans and implementation. Those include: Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Hopkins, Minneapolis and Saint Paul. In addition to recommending strategies, we are working more closely with Minneapolis, Columbia Heights, Brooklyn Park and Saint Paul on implementation.


REGIONAL ECONOMIC INCLUSION INDICATORS:

Through the Regional Indicators Dashboard, Greater MSP has identified inclusive growth as the most pressing challenge for the region, and one of two demanding a deeper dive by partners. With that context, the two primary goals for the regional economic inclusion indicators are to:

  1. Provide the region deeper insight into how it is performing on economic inclusion, primarily through metrics disaggregated by race, place, and income; and

  2. Drive action, primarily through groups of executive commitments to action.

We have convened a working group of Twin Cities data experts to guide the development regional economic inclusion indicators and goals. Through this process, we have developed guiding principles to select indicators, a framework within which to present them and to seek executive commitments, as well as an outline of the end product: an interactive online tool with integrated content on success stories, best practices, and opportunities to engage. Prime Digital Academy is designing the interactive dashboard and it will be released at the Economic Inclusion Summit in March, and goals will be established and released in May in partnership with the release of the Regional Indicators Dashboard.


ACCELERATING REGIONAL ECONOMIC INCLUSION THROUGH SHARED ACCOUNTABILITY:

We are strengthening the development of the regional indicators by engaging employers, in all sectors, who are interested in monitoring their internal indicators and contribution to the regions performance and economic inclusiveness through engagement in data networks. Employers face challenges determining ‘what good looks like’ in workforce make-up, retention, local diverse spend, and charitable contributions. They also struggle to understand how their internal performance is contributing to or hindering regional performance. These data networks will enable us to help advance a results-oriented culture, and more shared accountability.

 
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