HREEO newsletter header
Quarterly Newsletter -- Fall 2011


Director's Corner
Como Zoo Networking Event
Penfield Networking Event
The Making of an EMT
Renovating Homes Through the NSP
Hispanic Marketing Midwest Conference
Rondo Days
HREEO Annual Report
Good Luck & Welcome
Director's Corner

Director’s Corner

For over ten years, the City of Saint Paul has partnered with the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County and Ramsey County to coordinate the certification of local minority-owned (MBE), women-owned (WBE), and small businesses (SBE) under a joint powers agreement known as CERT. As a result, CERT houses the largest and most comprehensive database of certified S/W/MBE in the region with over 1,300 certified S/W/MBEs in our CERT database.
Historically, access to the CERT database was limited to the aforementioned four governmental units. For the first time ever, we began offering external stakeholders access to the CERT database. Our goal is simple: stimulate the local economy by creating opportunities for local S/W/MBEs to participate in procurement opportunities among metropolitan based corporations and organizations.
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses in the U. S. accounted for two-thirds of net-new jobs creation between 1993 and 2008. “Small businesses almost single-handedly sparked the economic recovery during the nation’s two previous recessions,” according to Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for Urban Future. Nationally, minority-owned firms generate $1 trillion in economic output to the U.S. economy and create 5.9 million jobs. Women-owned firms produce employment for more than 23 million people in the United States, or 16% of our 2008 workforce. For more information about our CERT database, please contact Tim Flynn at 651.266.8913.
We joined Mayor Chris Coleman in welcoming Liberia’s Vice President and his Cabinet to City Hall. Among other things, they learned about our department’s procurement services and efforts to increase economic opportunities for S/W/MBEs. Similarly, our department hosted the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership entourage which allowed us to showcase our Vendor Outreach efforts and partnerships with MEDA and Association of Women Contractors.
My colleagues and I participated in the day long National Conference of Equity in Procurement & Contracting which provided valuable information and trends associated with S/W/MBEs. It was reassuring to hear that many of our departmental efforts align with industry Best Practices.
Lastly, Deputy Director Ruth Richardson led the first ever Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar on Section 3 laws and regulations. The program was so successful that she was asked to repeat it this summer!
Luz María Frías, HREEO Director
Como Zoo networking event

Contractors come together for Como Zoo Networking Event

On July 11, the City of Saint Paul, in collaboration with Como Zoo, and the Department of Parks & Recreation, hosted a networking event for contractors interested in bidding on two Parks & Recreation construction projects at Como Zoo.
Over 75 contractors attended the event to learn about the Gorilla Forest Habitat and Japanese Garden Experience projects. The event, held at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory Auditorium, brought together city staff from several divisions, including representatives from Parks & Recreation, the Vendor Outreach Program, and Contract and Analysis Services.
To facilitate the networking process, over 30 CERT and Section 3 certified contractors were invited to present basic information on their companies to potential general contractor bidders and other attendees. In addition, the event doubled as a pre-bid conference whereby attendees learned about the project and available subcontracting opportunities, and could ask any project and compliance related questions.
The Gorilla Forest Habitat and the Japanese Garden Experience have a project value of approximately $17,000,000 that will be used to improve and expand by two and a half times the existing Gorilla exhibit, and expand the Zoo’s nationally acclaimed Bonsai collection and other gardens.

September Penfield Networking Event

The City of Saint Paul will host the next contractor networking event for the upcoming Penfield project. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, September 7, from 10:30 AM – 12 PM at the Rondo Community Outreach Library (461 N. Dale St., St. Paul, 55103). Registration begins at 10 AM. The goal of the event is to connect Small, Minority, and Women-owned businesses with general contracting firms. The Penfield is a $54 million dollar construction development project that will include a full service Lund’s grocery store and 256 market rate apartments in downtown Saint Paul.
For more information, or to register for the event, please contact Lucie Passus at 651.266.8907.
making of an EMT

The Making of an Emergency Medical Technician

Summer sure has flown by fast! It seems like just yesterday that Mayor Chris Coleman and Director Frias hosted the Summer 2011 EMS Academy Information Session at Oxford Community Center.
The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Academy is collaboration between Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Youth Job Corps, Saint Paul Fire Department, Saint Paul Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity, Inver Hills Community College, Saint Paul Public Schools Adult Basic Education, and Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties. The EMS Academy is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification program designed for low income youth ages 18-21 interested in entering the emergency medical services field.
Fast forward 10-weeks later to August 29th, when Deputy Director Readus Fletcher, Deputy Mayor Paul Williams, Fire Chief Tim Butler, and our EMS Academy partners hosted the summer 2011 EMS Academy graduation ceremony at Dayton’s Bluff Recreation Center. The summer 2011 class achieved the highest graduation rate to date, with 18 Saint Paul youths receiving an EMT certification. Through the hard work of the EMS Academy cadets and our EMS Academy partners, another 18 Saint Paul residents have obtained their EMT certifications, earned college credits, and learned valuable life-saving skills that will open up countless doors as they begin their professional careers.
Please join us in congratulating the 2011 EMS Academy graduating class!
Section 3

Renovating Homes Through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program

(Part 1 of a series)

The City of Saint Paul has been aggressively working to help stabilize Saint Paul neighborhoods that were hit especially hard during the recession. These efforts come about through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), a funding source provided to the city by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
The City’s strategy is to purchase hundreds of foreclosed homes with the intent of rehabbing and selling them to end buyers who meet certain income guidelines. In so doing, the City helps to generate construction work for area businesses and create affordable housing for lower income residents.
Two such homes that are being renovated are 22 Douglas Street and 276 Nugent Street. The general contractor for these two properties is Croix Custom Homes, a Section 3 and Small-Business Enterprise (SBE) certified residential contractor.
This series of articles will follow the efforts of Croix Custom Homes in transforming these two blighted properties into sustainable and desirable homes. Join us as this transformation begins.

15th Annual Hispanic Marketing Midwest Conference

On June 8th, the City of Saint Paul participated in the 15th Annual Hispanic Marketing Midwest Conference at the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel. The event was presented by Aguilar Productions and gathered over 70 marketing executives for presentations on the increasing U.S. Hispanic markets.
This year’s presenters included experts from the world of Hispanic advertising, marketing, and research led by Roberto Orci , President & CEO of Acento Advertising in Los Angeles; Cesar Melgoza, Founder & CEO of Geoscape; David Morse, New American Dimensions, Los Angeles; and Roberto Orci Jr., a Hollywood film writer and producer. The presentation covered a variety of topics including a review of the 2010 Census, findings obtained from a Latina Shopper Study/Segmentation among Latina Women, and tips on Entertainment and Marketing to the Hispanic consumer. The conference also included an awards luncheon that recognized several organizations and individuals for their achievement in diversity and marketing to the Hispanic population.
Sponsors for the conference included the City of Saint Paul, U.S. Bank, Minnesota Twins, PawnAmerica, New York Life, MN Film and TV Board, Geoscape and AMPERS. For information on future conferences, please call Aguilar Productions at 651-665-0633 or visit their conference website.
Stay tuned to learn more about future Marketing Conferences.
Rondo Days

Rondo Days Parade & Festival

On July 16th Human Rights representatives once again participated in the annual Rondo Days Festival held on the grounds of the Martin Luther King Center in Saint Paul. The Rondo Days Festival is dedicated to preserving the contributions of African Americans in and around the Rondo Community. The day started out with the Grand Parade from the St. Peter Claver Catholic Church and continued to the MLK Center. It was a hot day, but that did not stop Director Luz Frias, Deputy Director Readus Fletcher, and the community from marching and attending the fun festivities and enjoying the delicious food available at the MLK Center. The Department was on hand to spread the word about HREEO services and to showcase the EMS Academy, which had numerous representatives in attendance. Many attendees at the festival got a first hand look inside an ambulance from members of the EMS Academy staff.

HREEO 2010 Annual Report

The Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity recently released its 2010 Annual Report. The Annual Report highlights the Department’s accomplishments in 2010. Compiling the report offered staff an opportunity to reflect on their challenges, growth, and most importantly, celebrate their successes.
Achievements across all divisions - procurement, contract compliance, minority business development and retention, human rights investigations, printing, and other special projects - are included in the report. Of note, the Division of Human Rights record-breaking year in settlement agreements, the increase in Section 3 certifications, and the number of outreach events planned and attended by HREEO staff. Time and again, our success was due to the successful collaboration between HREEO staff and our partners across the city and community, all of which increase our effectiveness in making Saint Paul the most livable City in America.
To view our 2010 Annual Report, please visit the City of Saint Paul website.

Good Luck & Welcome

After nearly ten years of working for the City of Saint Paul, Stephanie Selb has moved on to greener pastures with the Minnesota Department of Administration. Taking over Stephanie’s role of overseeing both the Vendor Outreach Program and the CERT database on a temporary basis, will be Anne O’Connor. Assisting Anne during this transition period will be Lucie Passus, HREEO’s Best Practices and LEP Officer. Please join us in welcoming Anne to her new role, and also in extending thanks to Stephanie for her service to the City of Saint Paul along with best wishes for her new role with the State of Minnesota.
Tim Flynn is HREEO’s new Contract Compliance Supervisor. After a 20+ year business career in the private sector, Tim recently went back to school and obtained a law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Tim is looking forward to working with the entire Contract Compliance team to help expand economic opportunities for disadvantaged individuals as well as minority and women-owned businesses.
Siobhan Tolar has joined HREEO as the new Little Davis Bacon Contract Compliance Officer. Siobhan is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law. Prior to law school, Siobhan worked at Target Corporation in the Diversity Department. Going forward, Siobhan will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing state and local regulations to ensure that prevailing wages are paid on construction contracts. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and traveling.
Terence Steinberg joined HREEO as an Americorps VISTA Volunteer working on the Saint Paul EMS Academy. Terence will spend the next year strengthening EMS Academy partnerships and working to help further the admirable goals of the program. Terence graduated from Macalester College where he founded the Macalester College Student Emergency Medical Service club, which trains students to become EMTs. Most recently, Terrence traveled to Venezuela to train paramedics and community volunteers in emergency medical procedures – photos and stories can be found here. In addition to working for the EMS Academy, Terence spends his time training for endurance sports.
Please welcome Tim, Siobhan, and Terence to the department!
New people