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Creating Job Opportunities in the Corridor

Body: 
Can residents find work and reach it more easily?

July 23, 2014
 
Light rail should make it easier for Corridor residents to use transit to get to work or find new job opportunities—either because the commute is better or more jobs locate closer to home. The primary benefit of this improved access will be increased income for residents.

New job creation. Despite a net Corridor-wide loss of businesses over the past five years, the Corridor has seen an increase in the number of mid-sized companies (20-99 employees) where new job growth tends to be strong.
 
Green Line LRT construction has also boosted the local job market. The Joint Committee for Equal Opportunity and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises has provided coordination and oversight to ensure that hiring and contracting goals have been met to date, resulting in hundreds of new jobs and millions of income.
 
Pathways to careers.
The Central Corridor College (C3) Fellows Project is a health careers fellowship partnership with Saint Paul College and the Minneapolis Community & Technical College. With the help of a $50,000 grant from the Funders Collaborative, the C3 Fellows program helps students from Saint Paul College and Minneapolis Community & Technical College, who live within one mile of the Green Line light rail, find entry-level jobs at healthcare organizations along the Central Corridor. Hear from Laura Beeth, Fairview Health Services and C3 Fellow, Kerissa Olstemd as they describe their experience with and impact of C3.


In addition to the C3 Program, Augsburg College and Saint Paul College hosted Scrubs Camps in 2013 – exposing nearly 100 high school students, many from Corridor neighborhoods, to health care careers. Scrubs Camp took place again in 2014, from July 7-11.
 

       

Over a nine-month pilot project, the Corridors to Careers initiative engaged nearly 1,500 residents from five Corridor neighborhoods – leading to over 600 connected to workforce resources, 70 taking a WorkKeys assessment, and 47 enrolled in training.


There is still work to be done. Two-thirds of low- and moderate-income residents still do not have jobs located within a reasonable (45 minute) commute. And while trains began running a month ago, not much change in job access will be seen until businesses grow or locate near transit lines. But these exciting initiatives highlight progress towards the vision of creating a corridor of opportunity for all.  
 

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