Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) and the Minnesota Department of Transportation are working together to increase the number of minorities employed in the local construction industry, the agencies announced Wednesday.
According to Minnesota Public Radio, the Urban League received a $150,000 grant; MUL CEO Scott Gray told reporters that some of the money “will be used to bring together construction company owners, union officials and community groups to set a hiring goal for the 2011 construction season.”
Some of the money will also be used to subsidize training costs, Gray added.
The CEO also said that both state and federal officials have expanded efforts to hire minorities, the Star-Tribune reported.
“Companies that lost their commercial share in this economy [are] starting to go after more of these federally-funded projects,” Gray said. “That pretty much puts them at the table where we have to talk about work force opportunities.”
Mary Prescott, diversity coordinator for the transportation department, said in an interview with the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune that MUL officials started a project in 2008 to increase the number of minorities working on projects.
“I think we’re on the right path with this proposal,” she said.