Mayor Coleman touts bold vision for Saint Paul in final State of the City

SAINT PAUL – Mayor Chris Coleman today delivered his final State of the City address. From the floor of the Pipefitters Local 455 training facility before local construction trades workers, residents and local leaders, Coleman reflected on Saint Paul’s many successes of the past 11 years, which he attributed to the bold decisions that have defined his administration.

“Thanks to our bold vision and hard work, Saint Paul’s future is bright,” said Mayor Coleman. “Private sector jobs are back to prerecession levels. People are choosing to live here, work here, go to school here, open their businesses here, go to dinner or a game or a show here. Not only did we survive the recession, we came through it stronger than before.”

Mayor Coleman discussed his plans to accelerate job growth in Saint Paul. Total job numbers are nearing pre-recession levels, and Coleman talked about the need to double down on traditional labor and trades jobs, as well as attract tech and innovation sectors to the Capital City.

“Saint Paul must be an economic anchor for the East Metro,” said Mayor Coleman. “Nationally, growth in the tech and innovation sectors is outpacing overall job growth by 200 percent per year, and Saint Paul needs to attract its share of that growth. We need to build the pipelines so that graduates from our high schools, colleges and universities can find good, high-paying jobs right here in Saint Paul.”

He emphasized the need for strong education and youth jobs initiatives to create the workforce of the future, highlighting Right Track, a city program that has provided more than 2,000 low-income youth with internships, paying out a total of $2.5 million wages since it began in 2014.

The Mayor called for 2017 to be a record-breaking year for Right Track participation.

“Thanks to the incredible partnership of our business community, Right Track kids are learning professionalism, hard work and valuable skills, setting them up for success – and hopefully encouraging them to seek employment here in Saint Paul,” said Mayor Coleman.

The Mayor also admonished state legislators for repeated attempts to interfere with local communities.

 “For years, I’ve heard legislators argue that the government closest to the people it serves – local government – is best situated to make local decisions,” said Mayor Coleman. “Before legislators mess with what our residents need, they should first forge a state-wide solution to address the issues we face. In the absence of a broader solution, let local government continue to be responsive to our residents.”

Seeing through the vision for redevelopment of the Ford Site is a priority of Mayor Coleman’s final term. The Mayor praised the more than 10 years of community input and planning that has led to a big, bold, 21st century vision for an environmentally sustainable, transit-connected, livable community.

“As we stand here today, we have an unparalleled opportunity for the future of Saint Paul and for the entire region at this site,” said Mayor Coleman. “For that opportunity to be realized, the same boldness that led to CHS Field, the Green Line, Penfield, and professional soccer must also guide us on Ford.”

Finally, Mayor Coleman thanked attendees and all of Saint Paul for welcoming him and his family into their lives over the past eleven years.

“Connie, Molly, Aidan and I have cherished the time we’ve spent in your homes and businesses, your churches and schools and neighborhoods,” said Mayor Coleman. “We have been motivated by your dreams, your hopes for your children and your love for this town. I look forward to spending the rest of 2017 and beyond working with you and for you to build a better future for us all.”

For the Mayor’s remarks as prepared and other information, visit stpaul.gov/2017SOTC.

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