Educational and Economic Access: Increase equitable access to educational and economic opportunities.
Just because a city and region is experiencing economic growth doesn’t mean everyone in the city has the opportunity to benefit, access and participate in that growth. Many Minneapolitans, particularly people of color and indigenous people, face barriers to participating in the economy. These barriers can start at birth and extend throughout a lifetime, impacting these residents’ access to paid work as their primary means of economic compensation. The presence or absence of this kind of economic stability is an important social determinant of health, and can impact emotional and mental well-being. Without access to financial resources, it is also very difficult to address health challenges related to lack of healthy foods, suitable housing, health care and other necessities of life.
Assessing the needs of workers and students who are looking for job and training opportunities cannot be limited to their educational levels or qualifications. People come from many communities and backgrounds, especially among people of color and indigenous people, and may experience historical trauma that presents barriers to accessing opportunities for economic mobility. This requires collaborative partnerships to create solutions that are culturally accessible and that meet the needs of the community. These types of investments will support the healthy development of workers and build resilience for long-term employment and economic sustainability.
However, simply being employed is not enough to ensure economic stability and prosperity. Having access to a living-wage job is necessary for personal and family stability and health – but many entry-level jobs do not provide wages and related benefits at this level. In addition, the lack of paid time off and support for child care creates additional barriers to finding and retaining employment that allows people to address family needs.
The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to increase equitable access to educational and economic opportunities.
- Support businesses in providing fair wages and worker protections.
- Increase job training, youth apprenticeships, and transitional and temporary employment opportunities.
- Continue to collaborate with Minneapolis Public Schools and other educational providers to eliminate racial disparities in access to educational opportunities, educational attainment and discipline in schools.
- Collaborate with cultural institutions and employment and training providers to create strategies to eliminate racial disparities in access to educational and work opportunities.
- Invest in resources that provide professional networking opportunities and exposure to career and job opportunities, with a focus on target communities based on a criteria of need.
- Recruit, retain, and set clear pathways for advancement to support a diverse City workforce that reflects the demographics of the city.
- Increase the number of affordable high-quality child care services.
- Consider access to educational institutions, places of employment, and child care services, when planning public transportation investments.
- Explore and implement strategies to eliminate barriers to workforce training and employment for individuals who have been convicted as a felon or previously incarcerated.
- Support access to out of school time youth programming in academic enrichment, the arts, entrepreneurship, leadership, and civic engagement.
- Increase the quality of out of school time programming.
- Increase the quality of informal childcare networks (friends, family, and neighbors).