Contractor and Workforce Inclusion
The state of Minnesota set workforce and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goals for the Green Line construction project. These goals included 18% minority and 6% female workforce hours for all contracts and, in general, 15% of contract dollars for DBEs (specific goals for DBEs vary by type and size of contract).
A Contractor and Workforce Inclusion Group grew out of two other collaborations that were advancing such opportunities to meet and exceed these goals. A CCLRT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Affirmative Action Joint Oversight Committee (Oversight Committee) focused mostly on federal and state contractor compliance. Great Minds was a group formed to discuss creative ideas that could build capacity within the region’s woman- and minority-owned businesses.
The two efforts came together at a broadly represented retreat convened by the Metropolitan Council in January 2010 that included unions, workforce and small business advocates, construction training organizations, community advocates, and representatives from state and federal monitoring agencies. The daylong session produced a shared plan for achieving the construction project’s workforce and DBE goals. The Oversight Committee met monthly throughout the project’s construction to monitor progress against the plan. The project ultimately met and in some cases exceeded the established goals.
The Great Minds retreat produced a joint strategy, process, and plan for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and workforce development related to the Central Corridor Light Rail project. The individual strategies below are described fully in the working group’s report.