Alliance News: HIRE Minnesota Shutdown Action Makes News

The Alliance joined our partners in the HIRE Minnesota coalition today for a public action to call on our leaders to end the shutdown and put Minnesotans back to work.

Dozens of unemployed construction workers, carpentry students, people representing faith-based groups and employment advocates rallied at the abandoned construction site at the interchange between Highway 169 and 494 today to raise awareness of yet another effect of the state shutdown: job loss in the private sector.

The effect of the state shutdown on public sector workers has been well documented. However, private sector employees are also deeply impacted by the shutdown. There are empty construction sites all across the state where workers were building and repairing infrastructure just weeks ago. Every day that private contractors sit idle, thousands of workers who could be contributing to our economy and making traffic flow more efficient are shut out.

“We need our state leaders to put these hardworking Minnesotans that have joined us here today back to work. The people in this state who are struggling the most need these jobs,” said HIRE Minnesota founder Louis King, president of Summit Academy OIC. “HIRE Minnesota calls on our elected leaders to come to a budget agreement that creates fair and equitable job opportunities, and brings all Minnesotans back to work.”

The shutdown is not only costing thousands of private and public sector employees their jobs, it is also exacerbating an already tense situation related to the number of women and people of color being hired by private firms to complete state construction projects.

“We are committed to ensuring that contractors meet their hiring goals by hiring more people of color and women,” said Ralph Wyman of the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance. “But we can’t get people of color and women into these jobs if there’s no construction happening.”

Read about the action in MinnPost >