Mayors Convene Thinc.Green Committee

Mayors Coleman, Rybak Convene First Meeting of Thinc.GreenMSP to Grow Green Manufacturers, Jobs

This morning, Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak convened the first Steering Committee meeting of Thinc.GreenMSP, an unprecedented economic-development partnership between the two cities, business, organized labor, nonprofits and government to retain, grow and attract green-manufacturing businesses and jobs in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul region.

“Today marks an important milestone in our mission to make this region the center of a burgeoning green economy,” said Mayor Coleman. “As we continue to work toward economic recovery and expansion, we all need to work smarter and more closely together. Thinc.GreenMSP does just that, by bringing leaders from across the metro together in an effort to market, grow and retain green-manufacturing jobs better than any region in America.”

Mayor Rybak added, “As we continue to move forward with this unprecedented partnership between our cities and our partners to build local capacity in green manufacturing, our city governments are putting their money where our mouth is: we’re helping to create good green jobs by buying and using locally made products from green manufacturers.”

Today’s Thinc.GreenMSP Steering Committee meeting was held at the City of Minneapolis’ new Hiawatha Public Works Facility.

Under the leadership of the Steering Committee, Thinc.GreenMSP will immediately begin implementing five Strategic Initiatives to drive demand for locally-produced green products and services, as well as for the highly-skilled workers who make those products and deliver those services.

The five Strategic Initiatives are:

  • Strategic Initiative I – Buy Green: Local Government Green Purchasing Partnership Working with Minneapolis Saint Paul and other jurisdictions, Thinc.GreenMSP will expand green-purchasing policies for local governments in the region to help grow the market for green products.
  • Strategic Initiative II – Green Town: Incentives for the Built Environment Thinc.GreenMSP will support local and state actions to utilize aggressive green building standards. Establishing a green standard creates demand for manufacturers, vendors and suppliers of green products and services.
  • Strategic Initiative III – Re:Purpose: Match Existing Industrial Zones with Green Assets A targeted green business recruitment strategy expresses a public commitment to attracting new businesses, spotlights smart-growth assets like transit, and offers superior space to companies that seek to create synergies with other compatible businesses.
  • Strategic Initiative IV – Early-Stage Financing: Finance Program through Local Investment Bank A critical component in developing a green manufacturing base in Minneapolis Saint Paul is private start-up funding to seed businesses seeking to locate and/or grow within the region. Thinc.GreenMSP will develop creative, innovative and affordable financing options that will create new ways to leverage public investment with private capital, while accommodating start-ups with different needs.
  • Strategic Initiative V – Thinc.Leader: Recognition Program for Local Businesses Thinc.GreenMSP will establish a program to recognize corporate leadership in green manufacturing.

The Thinc.GreenMSP partnership, which began in 2006 as the Mayors’ Green Manufacturing Initiative in partnership with the BlueGreen Alliance, was formalized with a joint-powers agreement between Saint Paul and Minneapolis last fall.. The cities are backing Thinc.GreenMSP with a marketing plan and unprecedented sharing of staff and resources.

Members of the Thinc.GreenMSP Steering Committee, who represent business, organized labor, government and nonprofits, are:

  • Mark Andrew, GreenMark
  • David Aquilina, VAST Enterprises
  • Laurie Brown, Restore Products
  • Charles Burdick, National Wind
  • Doug Cameron, Alberti Advisors
  • Joel Cannon, tenKsolar
  • Scott Gale, Minneapolis Building Trades & Construction Council
  • Elizabeth Glidden, Minneapolis City Council
  • Frank Grazzini II, EverSafe Recycling
  • J. Thomas Halverson, Piper Jaffray & Co.
  • Anne Hunt, City of Saint Paul
  • Louis Jambois, Saint Paul Port Authority
  • Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Minnesota High Tech Association;
  • Mark Lofthus, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Michael McHugh, Minority Construction
  • Gerry Parzino, United Steelworkers
  • Cathy Polasky, City Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development
  • Ken Sorensen, Mortenson Construction
  • Reuven Rahamim, Accent Signage
  • Doug Ruth, EarthClean