Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday announced the creation of  a council charged with recruiting minority candidates to fill state jobs and identify ways to boost contracting with minority-owned vendors, according to a news released from his office.

The Diversity and Inclusion Council, chaired by Dayton, also creates the post of statewide recruiter to fill senior leadership roles within the governor's administration. 

“A government that serves the people of Minnesota, should reflect the rich diversity of Minnesota,” Dayton said in a statement. “We must ensure that all Minnesotans have equitable opportunities to work for their state government, to do business with the state, and to participate fully in the development of policy within our democracy.”

The council will also explore ways to increase civic engagement by minorities. According to 2013 census data, Minnesota's population is 86 percent white, compared with 77 percent with the nation overall. African-Americans and Hispanics make up the next two largest ethnic groups in Minnesota, 5.7 percent and 5 percent respectively. 

The council will include commissioners from state agencies, including Management and Budget, Transportation and others. 

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