Measuring progress. Inspiring action.

Zooming in: equity, access, and local action

The 2015 Compass Annual Meeting, held February 5, highlighted three key drivers for Minnesota's continued success.

Equity: Preparing tomorrow's workforce

Compass Project Director Craig Helmstetter underscored the important role of racial equity in maintaining the skilled workforce needed to sustain a strong economy in Minnesota, while Meredith Crosby, director of 3Mgives, illustrated how corporations and others can take innovative approaches to solutions.

Among Craig's key points:

1. There are large racial gaps in the percentage of workers who earn a family-sustaining wage.

family-sustaining wages in the Twin Cities region

Data collected for MSPWin. In the Twin Cities region, a family-sustaining hourly wage ranges from $9.69/hour for a single adult to $33.28/hour for a single adult with three children. 


2. Racial gaps in educational opportunities and achievement remain large.

racial education gaps


3. The working-age population will continue to become increasingly diverse.

increasing workforce diversity


4. Projected workforce shortages increase the urgency to address racial disparities.

workforce shortages in Minnesota

Access: Transportation is key

"Transportation is access," said Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle, co-chair of the Compass Transportation Advisory Group. He also said that the transportation landscape is quickly changing, but to successfully meet future needs, we must build on our present infrastructure. So how well are we doing? Craig Helmstetter highlighted data from the revised Compass key measures released at the meeting that answers these questions:

  • Access to destinations: How many jobs in the Twin Cities region are reachable by mass transit or walking within 30 minutes?
  • Congestion: How bad is congestion in the Twin Cities region?
  • Pavement condition: How well is our transportation infrastructure maintained?
  • Transportation expenses: How much of our budget is going to getting where we need to be?

Check out the new Transportation section to learn the answers.

Local action: Data to make informed decisions

Greater Minnesota Profiles

"Communities across Minnesota now have data profiles to inform action," said Craig Helmstetter, as he pointed out some demographic trends, such as:

Where immigration populations are prevalent


immigration populations across Minnesota

Educational attainment across the state

education levels in Minnesota

Minneapolis and Saint Paul Neighborhood Profiles

Craig also pointed to some comparisons among Minneapolis and Saint Paul neighborhoods that the new neighborhood profiles allow, such as income level inequities by neighborhood. Sarah Hernandez, McKnight Foundation (which prvided support for the development of the profiles), introduced three people to explain how their organizations used neighborhood profiles to forward their work.

neighborhood level incomes

Dianne Wanner Samir Saikali Eric Gustafson
Diane Wanner, District Council coordinator, Saint Paul Council Research Office explained how neighborhood data is helping decision-making. Samir Saikali, manager of grants and data for Neighborhood Development Center described how the NDC uses neighborhood data to share their story with national audiences. Eric Gustafson, executive director, Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, shared how Corcoran uses neighborhood data in organizing, education, and policy work.

Special recognition

Carleen Rhodes and Sandy VargasCarleen Rhodes (left), president of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, was honored at the Annual Meeting for her guidance in the development of Minnesota Compass, and her ongoing support as a Compass Governance Committee member. Sandra Vargas, president and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation and fellow Compass Governance member recognized Carleen on behalf of the Compass project .

Special thanks

To our guest presenters:
Meredith Crosby

Commissioner Charlie Zelle

Sarah Hernandez
McKnight Foundation

We also thank our advisors who gave time this year:
Governance Committee
Steering Committee
Transportation Advisory Group
Neighborhood Advisory Groups

And our funders:

3M Foundation
Blue Cross and Blue Shield
   of Minnesota Foundation
Boston Scientific
Otto Bremer Foundation
Bush Foundation
Greater Twin Cities United Way
Mardag Foundation
The McKnight Foundation
Community Leadership Fund
   of The Minneapolis Foundation
Minnesota Initiative Foundations
The Saint Paul Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation