By Johnnie Burns, Assistant Director – Contract Compliance
Exciting and challenging changes are underway in the Contract Compliance Unit! Effective May 1, 2012 workforce participation goals for minority trades workers will be increasing from 11% skilled minority and 11% unskilled minority to 32% overall. The workforce participation goal for female trade workers will remain unchanged from its current goal of 6%.
These increased goals represent challenge and opportunity. Many of you may be familiar with a practice used by some contractors to achieve the workforce participation goals called “bicycling”.Bicycling is when a contractor moves a minority or female worker from job to job with the intent of using that worker to get the hours necessary to count toward the workforce participation goals. One of the biggest challenges is to move contractors away from using workers this way to actually making them a part of the crew that starts and finishes a project. This should allow trained women and minority individuals who are ready and willing to work on city projects an opportunity for substantial employment. These new goals present the opportunity to hire and place skilled workers on City of Minneapolis projects not just for hours to achieve the goal – but present a real opportunity to boost employment of women and minorities in the construction trades, in general.
The new goals are based on an analysis of data extrapolated from the American Community Survey (ACS) 2006-2010. The ACS is a demographic survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data reflects an increased availability of minorities in the labor force over the past ten years. Two sources of data from the ACS were utilized; data on construction apprentices in Minnesota gathered by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and total civilian labor force data that includes all individuals in the labor force at the time of the census, including people who were unemployed. This data was then weighted and the numbers were crunched by the Minnesota State Demographer. The 32% goal represents an availability of workers from the twin cities area. The increased goal should aid in alleviating some of the vast employment disparities between minority and non-minority workforce.
We are in the process of updating our website with downloadable documents and current information. Please direct questions or other information related to the new workforce participation goal to Johnnie Burns at Johnnie.Burns@minneapolismn.gov.