Hennepin County Workforce Leadership Council

The economic vitality of our region requires a plan to build a stronger workforce that directly aligns workers’ skills to employers' needs and will address the persistent economic disparities in our community.


35 percent of Hennepin County workforce will be eligible to retire in 2025. 

Over 100,000 more metro jobs available than qualified applicants in the next five years.



In 25 years, nearly all of our region's workforce growth will be new Americans and people of color.

Hennepin Workforce is a solution that is working

As one of the largest employers in our region, Hennepin County understands the impending workforce shortage from an employer’s perspective.

Hennepin Workforce is an innovative strategy for workforce development designed by the county administrator and approved by the county board that will meet the county’s workforce needs, meet the needs of other employers and address persistent economic disparities that exist in our community. 

Through Career Connections employers and training partners develop sector-based career pathways, removing barriers to employment and expanding work experiences to place well-trained, high potential job seekers into positions throughout the county. 

Since the first graduates were hired in Fall 2014, Career Connections has grown to offer eight tuition-free, sector-based career pathways, which has created diverse pools of well-trained applicants. 

Employers have joined us to design pathways, including the positions of:

  • 911 Telecommunications
  • Administrative Professional
  • Building Operations Technician
  • Financial Services
  • Health Advocate
  • Information Technology
  • Transportation Construction

Additional pathways in development:

  • Medical Coding

View recent Hennepin Workforce materials:

The Career Connections model

The county is only one of many employers facing looming workforce shortages. Both public and private-sector employers are grappling with the same challenges. Hennepin County is partnering with community-based organizations, MNSCU institutions, training partners and other place-based initiatives to replicate and extend this model to employers in our region.

Learn more about the current program (YouTube) »


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.


Assembling leaders

Hennepin County has convened the Workforce Leadership Council as a forum for employers and training partners to develop workforce solutions for their organizations.  Working together, we can address our employment needs, increase the region’s economic competitiveness and tackle economic disparities in our community.

Workforce Leadership Council partners:

    • Hennepin County
    • Minneapolis Downtown Council
    • Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce
    • State of Minnesota
    • University of Minnesota
    • Metropolitan Council
    • Hennepin County Medical Center
    • NorthPoint Clinic
    • Hennepin Health
    • City of Minneapolis
    • Bloomington Public Schools
    • Minneapolis Public House Authority
    • City of Brooklyn Center
    • Wells Fargo
    • US Bank
    • Fairview Health Systems
    • Metropolitan State Univeristy
    • Minneapolis Community and Technical College
    • Normandale Community College
    • Hennepin Technical College
    • North Hennepin Community College

The Workforce Leadership Council is recruiting partners to extend and support educational and training partnerships, internships, permanent jobs, and additional funding for training and scholarships.

Join Us