Partnering for Inclusive Economic Growth

20 Apr 2021

Workforce, News

By De’Vonna Pittman, Director of Inclusive Growth, Center for Economic Inclusion

Economic inclusion is an economic imperative for our region and, as research has shown, for business growth and competitiveness:

  • According to McKinsey & Co., closing racial wealth gaps could add 4% to 6 % to the U.S. GDP by 2028.
  • According to McKinsey & Co., companies in the top-quartile for ethnic/cultural diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability. Likewise, companies in the bottom quartile for both gender and ethnic/cultural diversity were 29% less likely to achieve above-average profitability.
  • Minnesota’s Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian workers have been paid less for their work than their white peers for far too long. The income gap between workers of color and white workers has remained stagnant for more than 15 years, and from 2009-2019, grew by more than $3,000, according to Brookings.

Ramsey County and the Center for Economic Inclusion (the Center) are partnering to increase economic growth and competitiveness by placing racial equity and inclusion at the center. On March 23, the Center joined fellow consultants Fourth Economy, NEOO Partners, MZ Strategies, and Urban3 to present the first-ever Economic Competitiveness and Inclusion Plan (the ECI Plan) in the state of Minnesota to the Ramsey County Board.

The ECI Plan, developed over 18 months in partnership with local governments and organizations, includes critical input from Ramsey County residents, employers, and business owners. The ECI Plan will accelerate county growth, prosperity, and racial wealth equity by centering Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian people in housing, business and workforce development, land use planning, and investments while simultaneously accelerating economic growth and competitiveness in Ramsey County. The ECI Plan can be accessed here

The ECI Plan includes eight strategies to inform Ramsey County investments, policies, and strategies over the next six to 10 years. Here, we will highlight the impact of one strategy created to sustain and accelerate workforce recovery programs and where we will partner to meet the needs of Ramsey County employers, workers, and jobseekers with responsive, relevant, and inclusive strategies.

The ECI Plan’s workforce measurements include: 

  • Increase in the number of employers partnering with programs working with Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian workers to attain certifications in order to develop and source diverse talent.
  • Increase in funding to Ramsey County’s Workforce Solutions Department from external sources.
  • Adoption of new customized and culturally appropriate training programs.
  • Increase in the number of companies participating in “earn and learn” programs.


About the Center for Economic Inclusion

The Center is a critical resource and proud partner to Ramsey County. We offer consulting services to employers, like Ramsey County, who also seek to increase competitiveness and profitability by centering racial equity, inclusion, and belonging.

To learn more about our partnership with Ramsey County and our work, visit the Center’s website or email us at