State Department of Human Rights Commissioner

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Lindsay defends higher hiring goals



By Charles HallmanĀ 

Staff Writer


There is nothing new about complaints from construction contractors and subcontractors that they are unable to find enough qualified, skilled Black workers to meet the hiring expectations that come with publicly funded projects. Such complaints have surfaced over the years through city civil rights departments during their monitoring of public projects, and from the Metropolitan Council in projects like light-rail construction. Recently, upon hearing such complaints again from a meeting of contractors at Summit Academy OIC, we contacted State Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsay to ask how his department determines what reasonable hiring expectations should be and why this apparent gap persists between these reasonable expectations and the actual pool of skilled Blacks in the Metro area from which contractors draw their workforces. Commissioner Lindsay recently announced new hiring participation goals for publicly funded projects: 32 percent workers of color in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, and 22 percent in other countries such as Anoka, Carver, Dakota and Washington, on state-funded projects totaling $100,000 or more. He presented his plan in a meeting with local contractors, including members of the local National Association of Minority Contractors Upper Midwest (NAMC-UM) Chapter. Continue Reading →

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