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A recent report commissioned by the state’s philanthropies said an equity strategy is critical to adding jobs and businesses and remaining competitive. Minnesota’s racial gaps in income and education remain wide as the minority population grows. In 1980, 4 percent of Minnesotans were people of color. That number is 17 percent now, and it’s projected to be 29 percent by 2040.
The communities that figure out how to harness and integrate that segment are going to set themselves on the right course for the next 100 years, he said.
The hiring efforts have been under continued public scrutiny at regular meetings run by Alex Tittle, the project’s equity director. In a meeting last week, Tittle came under a verbal onslaught from some audience members who said minority workers don’t believe they have a shot at getting involved.
The Rev. Jerry McAfee said he wanted the hiring data broken out to show what percentage of the workforce is black.
“Our people will not suffer any longer,” he said before leaving the event.
Tittle acknowledged the frustration.
“There are people who are angry because they haven’t had an opportunity to get on board, and part of the reason is they don’t know how,” he said. “Everybody in here is my partner. I recognize you as a valuable part of this machine.”
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747