The challenges of meeting Minneapolis workforce hiring goals: Some companies seem surprised they are considered noncompliant

Last week the MSR reported that the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department will now monthly post online all the projects they are currently monitoring and identify them as either meeting goals, not meeting goals, or too soon to tell. Based on current information, at least six of the 57 construction projects’ workforces the department is currently monitoring are not meeting their participation goals of 32 percent minority and six percent female workers. This week we attempted to contact three companies that fell short of both their female and minority hiring goals.

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Concentration of Level 3 sex offenders on North Minneapolis ‘dumping ground’ opposed

According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections’ (DOC) latest reporting, there are 1,428 total sex offenders in the state. Of the 134 registered Level 3 Sex Offenders (L3SOs) in Minneapolis, 37 percent live in the 55411 and 55412 ZIP codes, which are located on the city’s North Side. Residents objected to this concentration at a June 25 community meeting at North Regional Library.A DOC spokesperson told the MSR last week that the State updates the Level 3 registered list twice a year — January 1 and July 1. “[The registered list is] always changing, constantly evolving. This is a very mobile population,” reported Minneapolis Police Department Predatory Offender Registration Coordinator Jon Hinchliff during the meeting.Hinchliff said that the state legislature made “tremendous changes” to the state sex offenders law in 1997 and established a three-level registration or “risk factors” that the DOC assigns the convicted individual, including where they will live after release from prison and mandatory posting of their status on the agency website.“We have the responsibility of reviewing each registered offender before they leave the prison and making a determination about what their risk level will be,” noted State DOC Community Notification Supervisor Mark Bliven. Continue Reading

Minneapolis Civil Rights to post monitored construction projects online

The Minneapolis Civil Rights Department has made public the monitoring list of city-based construction projects. City of Minneapolis workforce goals are 32 percent minority and six percent female.“We will publish it monthly” on the department’s website, announced City Assistant Contract Compliance Director Michael McHugh last week of the 57 projects currently being monitoring for people of color and female workers. “It is to make sure that the contractors who are doing work with the City are being accountable to meet the participation goal that’s set for them.”Right: Michael McHugh (Photo by Emmett Timmons)Each project is graded using three grades: meeting committed goals (M), not meeting goals (NM), and too new to grade (TN).“At the beginning of the project [and] before they actually start work on the project, they state to us what they are going to perform as far as their [workforce] participation goals,” continued McHugh. “It [also] depends on the scope of the work to get to those 32 percent [goals].”Presently, 42 projects are meeting minority participation goals and 33 projects are meeting female participation goals. However, seven projects are not meeting minority goals and 16 others are not meeting female goals. Continue Reading

University of Minnesota student becomes seventh Black to serve on Board of Regents — The first, Josie Johnson, urges continuing the fight for diversity

The 12-member University of Minnesota Board of Regents is the school’s governing body. Its members are elected by the Minnesota Legislature and serve without pay. Eight members represent the state’s eight congressional districts, and four members, including a current U of M student representative, are elected at large. Their six-year terms are staggered so that only four positions are available for appointment every two years.

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U.S. farm bill would mean loss of food support for thousands of Minnesotans

The U.S. House’s 2013 farm bill passed the House Agriculture Committee last month, and will soon be heard on the House floor. This bill would cut the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, which is also known as Food Support in Minnesota) by more than $20 billion over the next ten years. Nationwide, two million Americans would lose access to food support that makes a real difference to their well-being. Continue Reading

St. Paul’s Montgomery earns international honor — Award recognizes her mentoring of women police officers

Deborah Montgomery’s longtime mentoring and community leadership will be formally recognized later this year. The International Association of Women Police (IAWP) in April selected Montgomery, a 28-year veteran St. Paul police officer (1975-2003), for its 2013 Heritage Award and will honor her at their annual training conference September 21-26 in Durban, South Africa.

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