The company building the new Twins stadium has not met its goals for hiring minority workers and contractors, the Minnesota Department of Civil Rights disclosed Friday.

But the agency and the builder -- Mortenson Construction -- believe the company will achieve its goals of having a workforce that is 25 percent minority and awarding minority firms about 30 percent of the $412 million project by the time the ballpark is done.

That assessment was made at the monthly meeting of the Minnesota Ballpark Authority.

"We are going to make it," said Dan Mehls of Mortenson Construction. "We expect to see the number of minority workers increase as we go on."

Prep work for the new stadium began last May at the downtown Minneapolis site with the plan of opening the ballpark in the spring of 2010.

Mehls said Mortenson set goals of having a labor force that is at least 5 percent female and 25 percent minority.

"Those are very aggressive goals," James Patterson, manager of the contract compliance unit at the Department of Civil Rights, said Friday.

In his report, Patterson noted that the company is "significantly short," with only 15 percent of work hours made up of minorities, the civil rights agency said in a quarterly report released Friday.

The numbers regarding the awarding of contracts to small businesses, female-owned firms and minority contractors are even worse, according to the department's report.

Mortenson told the authority that it has goals of awarding 8 percent of the contracts to small businesses, 10 percent to minority-owned firms and 12 percent to female-owned companies.

At the end of March, Mortenson had awarded contracts valued at $204 million. But only 12 percent, or roughly $26 million, has gone to the three targeted groups: Small businesses received $4.8 million (2.4 percent), minority businesses $10 million (4.9 percent) and female businesses $11.1 million (5.4 percent).

Mehls said Friday that based on estimates and commitments subcontractors have given Mortenson about their future hiring, the company believes it is now above its goals on workforce and contracts.

Heron Marquez Estrada • 612-673-4280