Minneapolis workforce needs to diversify

by Daily Editorial Board

As Minneapolis continues to grow more diverse, the city is trying to find ways to reflect that diversity in its workforce. Last year, the city established an Office of Equitable Outcomes to address equity issues.
More recently, the council adopted a plan to change recruitment methods for city jobs to focus on constructing a more diverse workforce. Currently, more than 70 percent of workers employed by the city of Minneapolis are men, about 75 percent are white and many are old enough to be nearing retirement. 
Under the council’s new plan, the city’s 20 departments will work with the Human Resources Department to develop methods to encourage people who are young, female or from minority populations to apply for city jobs. These methods include improving awareness of job openings, translating application materials and eliminating unnecessary requirements for job positions.
Minneapolis human resources director Patience Ferguson told the Minnesota Daily last week, “research shows that when you have a diverse workforce … there’s more innovation.”
We, like the City Council, believe that innovation is necessary for Minneapolis. Not only will it keep the city economically competitive, it will also help address concerns such as the large disparities between minorities and non-minorities in education and other areas, in addition to retaining the talents of young people. 
With a rapidly growing and diversifying population, Minneapolis needs to focus on gathering a range of employees who can speak for young, under-served and minority populations.