Jobs & Work Force Solutions Initiative

Fostering regional collective action to strengthen economic competitiveness.

Jobs & Work Force Solutions Initiative

Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan Business Plan: Progress Report – August 2012

The Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP) region benefits from a large and diverse private sector including more than five industry sectors of strength and ranks eighth out of the largest 100 metros in educational attainment. People in Greater MSP enjoy a high quality of life with easy access to parks and lakes and cultural amenities such as the highest number of theater seats per capita outside New York City. Yet the region has not kept pace with job growth over the past decade compared with peer regions, presenting a challenge for the future.

The Minneapolis and Saint Paul Metropolitan Business Plan (MBP): Progress Report – August 2012 identifies some key challenges for the Greater MSP region such as modest wage growth, a persistent achievement gap between black and white students, decreasing numbers of entrepreneurs per capita, and a continuing negative workforce growth. The 2012 MBP focused on four key job growth levers to help turn our situation around and ensure regional prosperity. These levers are: development and deployment of human capital; an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship; effective infrastructure and spatial efficiency, and support for economic clusters.

Regional partners have come together during the past two years in new and exciting ways to address these challenges and drive job growth in the region. They are pursuing and aligning a variety of initiatives to ensure a vibrant future for Greater MSP.

Minneapolis – Saint Paul Export Plan
Metro Export Initiative

To maximize the job creation potential of exports, address slow export growth, and tap the clear interest from companies in pursuing exports, in May 2011, the Minnesota Trade Office and the City of Minneapolis convened top leadership from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region, including public officials, economic development and industry organizations, institutions of higher education, and export services providers.  This unified group pursued and secured a partnership with the Brookings Institution to develop an Minneapolis Saint Paul Export Plan designed to increase the region’s exports and fully realize our potential as a global economic engine.

CEO to CEO Conversations Report


Regional Cluster Initiative action plan will form the basis of a part of the RCM’s workplan in 2012. The CEO to CEO Conversations Report lays out four key objectives for mayors:

* Continue conversations with business CEOs.
* Develop workforce talent for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
* Promote more efficient and business-friendly local and state regulations and practices.
* Invest in regional infrastructure and institutions.

“The action plan is the key,” said Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead, chair of the Regional Cluster Initiative committee. “The bottom line is that mayors can be a key part of economic development and growth for the region.”

News and Announcements

Greater MSP launches new branding campaign.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul Regional Business Plan

On Monday, April 11, The Brookings Institution hosted a forum to introduce a new concept in regional economic development and strategy-setting—metropolitan business planning—and unveiled the economic visions and strategies devised through this framework by three pilot regions: Northeast Ohio, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, and Puget Sound. Take a look around the Brookings Institution event page for more information:

On that page you’ll find complete audio from the event and video clips of Bruce Katz, Director of the Metro Program; Bob Weissbourd, a co-leader in the business planning initiative; and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, speaking on the nation’s competitiveness and innovation challenges. You’ll also find clips of representatives from the three pilot regions describing their plans.

The event was a refreshing reminder that amidst the challenges faced by the federal government, solutions-oriented metro leaders from across the country refuse to wait and are acting assertively and intentionally to jumpstart the economy.

* View the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Forum presentation (4.14.11)
* Click here to learn more about the Brookings Metropolitan Business Planning approach
* Read the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Regional Business Plan Executive Summary
* Read Accelerate MSP – a description of a new regional entrepreneurship accelerator
* Read the Full Business Plan
* View the Brookings Presentation (4.11)

Global Metro Summit

On December 8, 2010, ULI Minnesota/Regional Council of Mayors and its partners shared the stage with international leaders at the Global Metro Summit in Chicago sponsored by the Brookings Institution, Time Magazine and the London School of Economics. Mayors Chris Coleman and R.T. Rybak presented the findings from a year-long effort to produce the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan Business Plan discussion draft.

* Access key conference presentations, materials and publications
* View the Brookings Presentation April 2011

Reports and Information

Regional Competiveness Project (RCP) Work Plan

Maps of RCP clusters:
Twin Cities Distributions Services Clusters

Twin Cities Medical Device Clusters
Twin Cities Financial Services Clusters


Regional Economic Forum Agenda and Bios
Regional Economic Forum Presentation, GREATER MSP (12.17.12)

Regional Economic Forum Presentation, Michael Langley (12.17.12)
Regional Economic Forum Presentation, Charlie Zelle (12.17.12)
Regional Economic Forum Presentation, Steven Rosenstone (12.17.12)
Regional Competitiveness Project Update, Mayor Harpstead (5.10)
Regional Competitiveness Project Update, Mayor Harpstead (11.09)
Regional Competitiveness Project Presentation (10.21.09)
Making Sense of Clusters Presentation, Joe Cortright (10.20.09)
Regional Competitiveness Project Update, Mayor Harpstead (4.09)
Regional Competitiveness Project Update, Mayor Harpstead (3.09)
Regional Competitiveness Project Update, Mayor Harpstead (1.09)

Advisory Committee Members

View Advisory Committee roster

Jobs and Work Force Solutions Contacts

Caren Dewar
Executive Director

Aubrey Austin