The future of work is here. New technologies are emerging that require new skills and qualifications. There are jobs that exist now that did not five years ago. There is no better example than the recent emergence of skills in data science. Along with artificial intelligence and machine learning, demand for talent with skills and experience in these emerging technologies is skyrocketing globally.
The future of work is here, and we have no choice but to understand and respond. In 2019, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) published a report titled, The future of work in America, analyzing the disparate impacts of automation on jobs across the country. The report stated that in the decade ahead, the next wave of automation technologies may accelerate the pace of change and that the future of work is coming at us faster than we may have expected. At the time, no one could have imagined what 2020 had in store for our region, state, country, and world. COVID-19 has unequivocally accelerated the pace of change the MGI report described.
The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion is being faced with new challenges and a new sense of urgency as the world responds to COVID-19 and the killing of George Floyd. To discuss what these changes look like, Colette Campbell, SVP and Director of Talent Acquisition, Diversity and Inclusion for Bremer Bank spoke to Peter Frosch. She shared her thoughts about how to keep positive momentum going in difficult times, the importance of designing for internal and external accountability, and the need to emphasize collective action in the face of the isolating effects of fear.
Two key takeaways emerged from Peter’s discussion with Colette Campbell this week. One, DEI in the workplace is challenged by the economic pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two, the momentum in racial equity and justice that followed the killing of George Floyd can sustain when there are dedicated actions to advance workplace inclusion. This week the intel team explores two recent efforts through Partnership that respond to Colette’s points. First we explore survey findings from the Discover MSP intern event series, showing that the resounding majority of these young professionals are passionate about racial justice and equity, Second, we share research included in the Regional Economic Framework that represent the need for our region’s sectors of strength to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion if they are to see sustained growth.
Our region’s increasing food insecurity challenge that has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic requires action right now. It is both a resource and a supply chain challenge, and real-time data has been critical to a quick and effective response. We are most effective when we have reliable information to inform action. A survey sponsored by AgriGrowth, AURI, the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota, GreenSeam and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, is open now to better understand the supply chain effects of COVID-19 on food and ag businesses so that effective strategies can be developed to support supply chain resiliency.
As the unemployment rate continues to increase due to COVID-19, it is much more difficult for many families to put food on the table. In fact, new data by McKinsey & Co, shows that by August, 1 in 8 Minnesotans will face hunger. Allison O’Toole, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland, Dimitrios Smyrnios, CEO of the Schwans Company and David Fiocco, partner at McKinsey & Co. share insights on the food insecurity challenges we are facing and the continued resources needed for sustained relief.
In late May, 28 Minnesota CEOs signed a letter expressing their commitment to addressing racial inequities. In response, leaders from the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity’s Omicron Boulé offered an action agenda. Dr. David Hamlar Jr. from the University of Minnesota, Chief Diversity Officer Greg Cunningham at U.S. Bank and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer Ken Charles at American Airlines walk through the strategies the group outlined.
Note: This is one of several action agendas for leaders to consider.
The CARES Act provides the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) with $1.5 billion to fund projects that prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. While our region can access these funds, the entire U.S. is eligible, and EDA is expecting the funds to be oversubscribed. We must act quickly as a region if we are to maximize the opportunity. Entities eligible to apply include cities, counties, states, Native American tribes, educational institutions, nonprofits, and subdivisions of states.
Through the Forge North initiative powered by the GREATER MSP Partnership, partners across the Minneapolis-Saint Paul startup and innovation ecosystem set goals for the region, including in the area of racial equity.
The horrific killing of George Floyd moved many of these partners to call for even more immediate action. The Forge North Leadership Council called on the region's startup, tech, and business communities to pledge to take meaningful action that advances racial equity in their organizations across Minneapolis-Saint Paul. In just a few days, nearly 200 leaders have pledged their support for building a more equitable startup and business community.
Today, a broad coalition of Twin Cities counties, chambers of commerce, community development agencies and other partners are announcing Business4Business Minneapolis-Saint Paul (B4B MSP), a regional coalition that aims to build a local support network to help small businesses survive and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges facing our small business community.
The B4B MSP coalition will connect small businesses harmed by COVID-19 with local resources from public agencies and private sector partners, including technical and financial assistance to provide immediate relief and boost long-term recovery efforts.