EQUITY UPDATE: Access to Living Wage Employment

July 25, 2017

The Diversity Council is deeply engaged in regional efforts to build skills and career pathways to ensure that everyone has access to living wage jobs and is participating fully in the workforce. Between recruiting challenges for employers and barriers for marginalized populations, there is great opportunity for cross-sector collaboration and solutions. 



Many initiatives and discussions are underway in the region. We can help you get connected to resources or conversations already in motion. Read on for regional context and quick facts about workforce development in SEMN. Please comment or connect with us to add to this discussion!



What WE are doing…

The Diversity Council provides a tactical approach to building intercultural competency and diversifying organizational strategies in workgroups of all sizes. EquityLogic™ trainings and consultations are designed to impact talent pool diversification, employee retention, workgroup and individual productivity, inter-workgroup relationships, organizational innovation and adaptability, customer/client satisfaction, and market penetration. To learn more about these employer resources, please contact us at 507-282-9951. 


And what our partners are doing…

DEED in Southeast Minnesota: The Southeast region has always been a manufacturing powerhouse, but this industry is not currently at the top of the list in regard to the number of jobs in the region. Manufacturing comes in third behind trade, transportation and utilities, which makes up 18 percent of the 240,681 jobs in SEMN, and education and health services, which tops the list at 34 percent of jobs.  (DEED Reporting JUL 2017)


Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce – Community Matters: Education. This yearly look at education in Southeast Minnesota will explore workforce development. A panel featuring Michelle Pyfferoen from RCTC, Jeanine Gangeness from WSU-Rochester, and Andy Toft from IBEW Local 343 will discuss what is happening to attract the workforce needed locally and what we need to do to expand this effort in the future. Coming up on August 25. Visit the Chamber website to register.  If you want to know more about the Chamber’s workforce development efforts, reach out to Kaylie McGregor, Workforce Development Manager, at 507-424-5678. 


Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI) is an independent nonprofit agency with a long history of serving the needs of job seekers and employers in Southeast Minnesota that is dedicated to developing and advancing the workforce to meet the current and future needs of the community. If you would like to participate in career pathway development efforts, please contact Susan Boehm, Regional Career Pathways Coordinator, Workforce Development Inc. at 507.512.0494. You can also inform their work and improve outcomes by completing or sharing the Employer Participation Survey. WDI relies on input and participation from employers to ensure that they’re providing up-to-date, relevant services to job seekers and employers.


Hawthorne Community Education Center, ISD 535, provides opportunities for adults to gain control over their own lives by enabling them to practice, learn from, and to the best of their abilities, master the strategies required for responsible citizenship, productive employment, and self-sufficiency. They have language and skill development resources as well as career pathway partnerships. This is an amazing community asset available to adults who wish to progress into living wage employment. If you are interested in connecting regarding classes or to volunteer, please contact the school at 507-328-4440. 

MaxAbility – Career Connection Fair & Educational Event: MaxAbility maximizes success for people with employment barriers, connecting individuals and businesses with education and tools for success. Please save the date for the annual career fair to be held on Thursday, October 5th at Kahler Apache. More information and registration

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1130 1/2 7th Street NW

Rochester, MN 55902



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