January 20, 2022 

Office of Mayor Melvin Carter
Kamal Baker

Ebone Clifton
(202) 626-3153


City of Saint Paul Receives Grant from the National League of Cities to Promote Equitable Career Opportunities for Youth 

SAINT PAUL, MN - Today, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced the City of Saint Paul will join a new initiative called Youth Excel: Cities Advancing Equitable Youth Economic Recovery and Empowerment. This initiative led by the National League of Cities (NLC), provides economic opportunity for youth and young adults who face barriers to accessing equitable access to quality education, career pathways, and career opportunities. Saint Paul joins five other cities from across the nation receiving grants of $150,000, along with specialized assistance from NLC’s staff and other national experts to advance the city’s efforts to expand STEM career pathways for young people. 

“Early investments in our youth pave the way toward a brighter future for all of us,” said Mayor Carter. “This partnership with NLC will help us encourage and inspire the next generation of leaders in Saint Paul.” 

“Educational attainment is directly linked to a city’s economic vitality and well-being, and there is a great opportunity for municipal leaders to help youth link their education to meaningful careers,” said Dr. Robert Blaine, Senior Executive and Director, Institute for Youth, Education and Families. “The National League of Cities is proud to work with the City of Saint Paul to develop new career opportunities and supports for marginalized young people in Saint Paul.” 

Through this initiative, the City of Saint Paul plans to develop partnerships and implement strategies that improve access to quality postsecondary education and career pathway opportunities that lead to higher wage jobs, focus on job quality improvement strategies, and integrate the critical perspectives and voice of youth and young adults in our work. 

The initiative will focus on youth and young adults who face barriers in accessing these opportunities, including members of our community who identify as who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), are low income, or are disconnected from school and/or the workforce with limited access to quality educational and career experiences

Youth and young adults are disproportionately represented among industries hardest hit by the pandemic, such as healthcare, hospitality, service, childcare, and agriculture. Students graduating from high school in 2020 and 2021 face particularly unique and long-term risks. Since the Great Recession, nearly 95 percent of all new jobs have gone to workers with at least some college education; yet, as a result of the pandemic, the likelihood of youth pursuing a four-year degree decreased 23 percent between May 2020 and September 2021 – down to 48 percent from 71 percent. 

This collaborative effort includes partners from throughout the region Minnesota Technology Association, Ramsey County Workforce Investment Board, Ramsey County Workforce Solutions, St. Paul Area Chamber, Saint Paul College, Saint Paul Public Schools, Sprockets, and Youthprise. 

The Youth Excel initiative runs from January 2022 through June 2023 and is generously supported by the Siemens Foundation. You can learn more at:


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Last Edited: January 20, 2022