Hennepin Pathways

Connecting our region’s employers to a diverse pool of well-trained candidates to meet their workforce needs


Almost 75% of our region’s employers have a hard time finding qualified employees.

By 2020, our region will have 128,000 more jobs than people qualified to fill them.



Hennepin County has created 18 sector-based career pathways as a solution to narrow this gap.

Pathways is succeeding

  • Pathways graduates are meeting and exceeding employers’ needs 
  • Since 2014 almost 90% of Pathways graduates have been hired into jobs they otherwise likely would not have landed
  • Pathways trains residents of marginalized communities for high-demand fields with good wages, benefits and a future, in both public and private sector jobs
  • 12 months after hire, 88% of Pathways graduates are still with the same employer
"Pathways has done everything for me. I can provide for my family now and take time off to spend with my kids."— Pathways graduate

Larger economic context

  • Pathways trains job seekers for fields that are in demand and will continue to grow, like 911 dispatch, health care clerical, human services and building operations
  • Participants are typically people with talent, work history and experience that may not be reflected in educational credentials who aren’t finding success landing good-paying jobs due to traditional hiring processes, or they experience barriers that make it harder for them to compete for better jobs.

The Hennepin Pathways model

The Hennepin Pathways approach can be tailored for employer and regional needs.

View the Pathways creation roadmap (PDF)


Define organizational needs and identify future hiring pressures across industries.

Evaluate and change current hiring practices to remove barriers to employment.


Develop career pathways using employer-tailored training programs with paid internships.

Offer employment opportunities for participants to full-time work.


The Hennepin Workforce Leadership Council

Where employers are shaping a regional solution

  • The Hennepin County Pathways model is enhanced and expanded at the Workforce Leadership Council
  • The council is made up of our region's largest public and private sector employers as well as education and non-profit partners
  • Council members share information and best practices, receive technical assistance and engage in hiring strategies for addressing persistent employment disparities in our region
  • The next Workforce Leadership Council meeting is March 1, 2018 

Workforce Leadership Council partners:

    • Hennepin County
    • Hennepin County Medical Center
    • Hennepin Health
    • Ramsey County
    • City of Minneapolis
    • City of Brooklyn Center
    • City of Saint Paul
    • City of Brooklyn Park
    • State of Minnesota
    • Project for Pride and Living, Inc.
    • HIRED
    • Summit Academy OIC
    • Minneapolis Downtown Council
    • Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce
    • Metropolitan Council
    • Minneapolis Public Housing Authority
    • NorthPoint Clinic
    • Fairview Health Systems
    • Metropolitan Airports Commission
    • Metro Transit
    • Ameriprise Financial
    • Clifton Larson Allen
    • Thrivent Financial
    • Wells Fargo
    • US Bank
    • University of Minnesota
    • Metropolitan State University
    • Minneapolis Community and Technical College
    • Normandale Community College
    • Hennepin Technical College
    • North Hennepin Community College
    • Bloomington Public Schools

Employers can get more information about Pathways and the Workforce Leadership Council by emailing us.  

Contact us