Comprehensive Economic Development to Build Prosperity

Ramsey County will leverage public infrastructure and redevelopment projects, contracting and procurement, and workforce investments to build prosperity and opportunity for all.

Why this is a priority

The county envisions an inclusive economy where all residents prosper and have access to opportunity. Racial disparities in employment, educational attainment, income and housing currently hold Ramsey County back in the regional economy. Full participation by all residents will create wealth, expand the talent pool and increase well-being. Residents’ incomes must grow through living wage jobs and stable employment. Ramsey County will leverage workforce development programs and partnerships, business creation and expansion programs, procurement, the development of regional transit corridors and drive inclusive redevelopment of key sites to reach this vision.

Building on previous work and lessons learned

Economic development is best achieved through a strong, collaborative approach. Continued engagement with cities, partner agencies, community organizations, businesses, and residents will be essential in developing and implementing this work. The county is committed to increasing opportunities for businesses of all sizes including entrepreneurs through programs such as the certified small business enterprises (CERT SBEs) and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBES). Ramsey County will leverage its position within the regional economy to help navigate resources for all looking to locate and grow. Lessons learned from the 2018 Procurement Fair will lead to an improved procurement and contracting processes in 2019. The county will continue to focus on large, multi-year redevelopment and transitway corridors and connect these opportunities to construction industry career pathways.

Ensure racial equity is applied

Significant and persistent racial disparities exist between income levels of Ramsey County residents; residents of color make considerably less than their white neighbors. To address these disparities Ramsey County will track and increase the percentage it spends with small business enterprises, including small minority-owned contractors. The county will also assist construction contractors in reaching workforce inclusion goals through outreach and relationship building with community partners. Continued involvement in the Economic Gardening Program, creation of new programming for start-up businesses, or direct small business loans will help remove barriers and promote equity of information and capital for all, including minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

Goals supported 

Prosperity and opportunity