With hundreds of government positions available, the city of St. Paul and the state of Minnesota on Saturday will hold their first ever joint job fair.

"There are tons of opportunities for people who are interested in public sector work," said Tracey Gibson, statewide director for recruitment, retention and affirmative action for Minnesota Management and Budget.

The state has about 400 job openings, Gibson said, and the city is expecting up to 300 over the next three years as employees retire, said Toni Newborn, St. Paul's chief equity officer.

Both the city and the state are focused on increasing workforce diversity. At the state, racial and ethnic minorities make up about 13 percent of the workforce, but the goal is 20 percent, Gibson said. At the city, more than 73 percent of employees are white and more than 69 percent are male, according to data from the first quarter of 2018.

The job fair is way to reach a diverse pool of potential employees, Gibson and Newborn said. It's also a chance to showcase government work and benefits to people who may not have considered it.

"We're trying to do a better job at selling ourselves," Newborn said.

Attendees will have the chance to talk to current city and state employees and attend interviews onsite. There will also be workshops on how to apply for government jobs.

The city and the MMB are funding the fair, whose costs have not been finalized, Gibson said.

Metro Transit is offering free rides to the event, which is scheduled for Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown St. Paul.