The Minneapolis St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership, better known as Greater MSP, has exceeded by 29,900 jobs its five-year goal of adding 100,000 jobs since its 2012 inception as the Twin Cities regional economic development agency, established to recruit new businesses and expansion and coordinate related efforts among local governments.
Greater MSP, with revenue last year of $5.6 million funded mostly by the private sector, is the manifestation of an Itasca Project study that found too much rivalry among local governments and economic development agencies over attracting and retaining business. There is still some of that. But the case can be made that Greater MSP CEO Michael Langley and company have mitigated local hostilities and enhanced growth during the economic upturn.
Greater MSP said it also had a big hand in attracting $3.2 billion in capital investment from the likes of Amazon and other companies that have moved or expanded operations in the region.
The latest Greater MSP handiwork includes:
• A collaboration among the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and Hennepin and Ramsey counties and their respective chambers of commerce that seeks to accelerate investment and jobs in the core-city areas.
• A medical-manufacturing partnership that supports Mankato, St. Cloud and the Twin Cities in pitches to employers as well as coordinated bids and strategy in pursuit of federal incentives.
Increasingly, as the Twin Cities approaches virtual full employment, the emphasis must turn to attracting talent, as well as programs that upgrade the skills of the unemployed and undereducated. A lot of businesses, schools and nonprofit-training outfits are working on that.
Greater MSP launched “Make It. MSP,” last year to attract more technology and other skilled workers to fill some of the thousands of local open jobs. Greater MSP collaborated with fast-growing job creators such as Leadpages and Code 42, as well as the local Fortune 500 companies, to offer free flights to talented job prospects in September, during “Twin Cities Startup Week.”
This was part of the pitch from Greater MSP: With more than 50,000 available jobs posted at the website makeitmsp.org. And housing costs significantly lower than San Francisco, Bloomberg recently named Minneapolis-St. Paul as one of the “few places where you can get a job and afford a house.”
Greater MSP also has touted CNBC’s naming of Minnesota last year as the “top state for business.”