In a continuing effort to focus attention on hiring of women and minorities – and on the claim that the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) fails to hire women and minorities – HIRE Minnesota and the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability took “inspectors” to a MnDOT construction at Highway 35W and 46th Avenue in south Minneapolis on August 19. The group of about 20 white-coated protesters found no women or minorities among about ten employees of Ames Construction at the Stevens Avenue worksite.
Each year, MnDOT gives hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to private contractors to build and repair our roads, bridges and transitways. MnDOT has set its own goal for 11 percent of its metro-area workforce to be comprised of people of color, yet the agency has repeatedly failed to meet its own goals. In fact, in 2007 MnDOT’s workforce was only 6.9 percent people of color. The agency performed even worse in 2008, only hiring 6.4 percent people of color. According to the last U.S. Census taken in 2000, Minnesota’s population is now comprised of at least 14 percent people of color.
Last month, about 200 protesters took their case to MnDOT offices in St. Paul.
Kevin Gutknecht, MnDOT Communications Director, said that MnDOT has been in close contact with HIRE Minnesota and other groups advocating for more employment of people of color. He said that MnDOT has “a number of iniitiatives in place to improve the number of minorities” hired, and will continue these initiatives.
Video provided by Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
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