July 13, 2022  

Kamal Baker

City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County
Announce Workforce Investments

American Rescue Plan Funded Workforce Investments to Support Economic Opportunity for Community Members, Including Expanded Pathways for Youth Employment

SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, alongside City, County and community leaders, Mayor Carter announced $15.3 million in City of Saint Paul American Rescue Plan (ARP) workforce investments to support economic opportunity for members of our community, including expanded pathways for youth employment. In combination with Ramsey County’s commitment of $9.5 million, today’s announcement reflects a combined investment of $24.8 million in ARP funding for high-quality job training programs and workforce initiatives throughout Saint Paul and Ramsey County. 

“We are betting on the massive potential of our young people, workers and families,” said Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “I’m grateful for Ramsey County’s partnership in that effort, and the City leaders and federal partners who made this exciting investment possible.” 

“For our state’s economy to thrive, our workers must have the skills and support to succeed,” said U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. “From creating career pathway programs to expanding access to credential training, these resources, made possible by the American Rescue Plan, will help young adults and jobseekers access the tools they need to begin and advance their careers.”

“Investing in young people is critical to our community’s economic prosperity. This joint investment with the City of Saint Paul will ensure that young people most impacted by COVID-19 will have the resources they need to fully participate in our economy,” said Ramsey County Board Chair Trista MatasCastillo. “Co-investing part of our federal recovery funding with the city will ensure our collective efforts and dollars will go further to supporting an economy that works for all residents.” 

“Major workforce investments like these chip away at the barriers to employment that too many workers face,” said Kera Peterson, President of the Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation. “Opportunities like the Drivers License Academy and other job training programs target these gaps, and provide critical pathways to building a career.”

“In the electrical industry, we know it is critical to switch our mental model of a driver’s license as about individual autonomy to one about a credential you need for work,” said Jamie McNamara, Business Manager of IBEW 110. “In the IBEW, we don’t just work on bus lines or light rail lines. We work in cities, in suburbs, in towns all across the state and in all industries. In high wage, high growth opportunities like in the construction trades you’ve got to have a license. The Driver’s License Academy is the right way to leverage the infrastructure bill, right now.”

“Investment in our youth is an investment in our future,” said current Right Track Intern Mary Thao. “I am excited that these initiatives will continue to help remove barriers to employment that young people like me have experienced at disproportional rates throughout the pandemic.”  

These investments will provide high-quality job training programs to support those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic due to unemployment, underemployment, or loss of household income - especially young people. These programs reflect $15.3 million in City of Saint Paul American Rescue Plan funds, which will come before the Saint Paul City Council on July 20th. The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners previously approved $9.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds for workforce initiatives.

Learn and Earn Occupational Training - $14.65 million
Learn and Earn Occupational Training opportunities will support Saint Paul and Ramsey County residents ages 18-30 to assist in paying tuition, books, technology costs, and other costs related to the occupational training. Participants will also receive subsidized wages or stipends for learning and paid internships or on the job training for their time learning, whether that is in a classroom training setting or receiving on the job training through an internship, employment, or other arrangement. Community-based organizations will provide coordination and support to students throughout their course of study and into their new careers.

The total investment includes $11.2 million from the City of Saint Paul and $3.45 million from Ramsey County.

Right Track & Right Track Plus Expansion - $3 million
Investments in Right Track and Right Track Plus will expand internships, occupational and work readiness training, networking opportunities and other new programming. These investments will also provide opportunities for broader recruitment and outreach to youth experiencing barriers to employment as well as working closely with area school districts on a credit recovery program for students who have become credit deficient during the pandemic by leveraging Right Track and Right Track Plus work experiences.

The total investment includes $1.5 million from the City of Saint Paul and $1.5 million from Ramsey County.

Low or No Barrier Jobs Program - $1 million
Low or No Barrier Job Program investments will implement employment models to support those experiencing homelessness with low-to-no barrier meaningful work experiences, wages and connections into the workforce ecosystem.

The total investment includes $750,000 from the City of Saint Paul and $250,000 from Ramsey County.

Digital Career Pathway and Resource Hub - $1.5 million
The Young Adult Creative Media and Resource Hub investment will create a digital hub for youth and young adults in Ramsey County and the City of Saint Paul for employment resources with a significant emphasis on lived-experience videos about career opportunities and pathways to overcoming barriers. Content for this site will be funded through several cohorts of youth that will create and market the content for the hub.

The total investment includes $750,000 from the City of Saint Paul and $750,000 from Ramsey County.

Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) - $1 million
Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP), a multisite initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, aims to help youth and young adults 18 to 30, who have been involved in public systems or experienced unsheltered homelessness, succeed in school and at work by building and expanding education and employment pathways. This ARP workforce investment will support LEAP pilot sites throughout Ramsey County, including the City of Saint Paul, at schools and community organizations.

The total investment includes $600,000 from the City of Saint Paul and $400,000 from Ramsey County.

Driver’s License Academy - $500,000
The ability for 18- to 24-year-olds to obtain a driver’s license is imperative to expanding employment opportunities. This workforce initiative will launch a Ramsey County Driver’s License Academy pilot project to support young people and job seekers in Saint Paul and Ramsey County in obtaining a driver’s license as an employment credential.

The total investment includes $250,000 from the City of Saint Paul and $250,000 from Ramsey County.

School Affiliate Partnerships - $200,000
The School Affiliate Partnership investment will support staff time, resources and new programs to connect schools to workforce programs that are available for students in Saint Paul. Efforts will include convenings and connection events for those supporting students. A new Workforce Barrier Removal Fund will be created to support students who need assistance for employment that can be leveraged by schools.

The total investment includes $100,000 from the City of Saint Paul and $100,000 from Ramsey County.

Employer Outreach and Engagement - $600,000
Saint Paul and Ramsey County will create an employer network supporting Right Track and Right Track Plus, co-create and design a City-County Youth Work Readiness Credential, and establish a Youth and Employer Inclusive Workplaces Council. These efforts will ensure deeper partnerships with area chambers and economic development intermediaries to interface with the workforce investments, while supporting inclusive workplaces.

The total investment includes $300,000 from the City of Saint Paul and $300,000 from Ramsey County.

County Case Plus - $250,000
Ramsey County will invest funds into providing additional resources navigation and career pathway supports to youth involved in County systems, including foster care, juvenile justice, and housing and homeless services. Additional supports will encourage connection to programming and employers in the community to increase opportunity.

The total investment includes $250,000 from Ramsey County.

Ramsey County Early Childhood Academy - $750,000
Ramsey County, like all communities, is currently facing significant shortages in childcare options for families. This academy will provide support to the childcare system by providing scholarships and supports to residents to receive the Child Development Associate credential as a step into a career educating young children. The academy will also provide support to residents interested in establishing new licensed childcare facilities.

The total investment includes $750,000 from Ramsey County.

Public Health Career Pathways - $1.1 million
The pandemic has highlighted how critical public health workers are in our community. This program will support Ramsey County staff making less than $21/hour to pursue post-secondary education pathways in registered nursing or community health worker. After completion of their education, these employees will be offered County positions in these areas, as available.

The total investment includes $1.1 million from Ramsey County.


Last Edited: February 28, 2023