Greater MSP Launches Career Network to Recruit BIPOC Talent
Courtesy of Greater MSP

Greater MSP Launches Career Network to Recruit BIPOC Talent

More than 40 organizations partnered to create ConnextMSP, an inclusive talent network designed to recruit, hire, and support young BIPOC professionals in Minnesota.

Two years after completing college, young graduates of color are more likely to be stuck in part-time or seasonal employment than their peers, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. In an effort to close that gap, the Greater MSP Partnership is launching ConnextMSP, an inclusive talent network designed to recruit, hire, and support young BIPOC professionals.

“Every year in our region, thousands of students of color graduate with degrees and certificates but face barriers to landing career-track jobs,” Greater MSP President and CEO Peter Frosch said in a statement. “ConnextMSP will help break down systemic barriers, advance racial equity, and build a 21st century workforce for our region.”

On Tuesday, Greater MSP hosted a virtual event for the business community to announce the program, two years in the making. What started as an idea within the Minneapolis Foundation with partners including the Itasca Project, Xcel Energy, and Cargill migrated to Greater MSP, an economic development partnership for the region, in 2020. More than 40 businesses, schools and organizations worked together to shape ConnextMSP.

The ConnextMSP online portal is designed to help early-career BIPOC professionals find career guidance and job opportunities. Often the barrier is not qualifications, rather, connections to get in the door—what’s often referred to as the “network gap,” said ConnextMSP managing director Ieesha McKinzie Collins. According to Forbes, nearly 80 percent of jobs are secured through personal connections.

“Our network will help create a bridge for these talented young adults and support them as they grow their careers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region,” McKinzie Collins said. “We’ve realized this challenge is far too big for any single organization to solve on its own, and we’re working on this together. If we want to drive lasting change, this is how it starts.”