Workforce Solutions Annual Report 2022
Workforce Innovation Board


The 33 members of the Workforce Innovation Board of Ramsey County (WIB) are key decision-makers within their organizations and experts in the workforce arena. Board members represent businesses, organized labor, community-based organizations, education, economic development and the public sector. They set strategic direction and provide local oversight for CareerForce, Minnesota’s public workforce system. 
The WIB is committed to advancing racial equity - a commitment that starts by recruiting a diverse board reflective of the racial and ethnic makeup of the community. They also strive to have a membership that represents a range of business sizes, genders, geographical locations and industry sectors. Learn more about the demographic makeup of the WIB.
Photo of the Workforce innovation Board
“I am extremely proud of the work of the WIB and the meaningful impact their investments have made in the community this year. 2022 has been a year of transitioning back to in-person connections and the WIB placed a high priority on investing in opportunities to bring employers and job seekers together in meaningful ways.”
Chad Kulas, WIB Chair and Executive Director of the Midway Chamber of Commerce

Workforce Innovation Board Member Spotlight: Commissioner Jim McDonough 

Commissioner Jim McDonough has spent his entire career serving the residents of Ramsey County and championing the east side of Saint Paul, where he has been a lifelong resident. He spent the first half of his career working as a glazier and has been a strong advocate for careers in the building trades. “I did not go to college,” said McDonough. “I worked for many years in the building trades and was able to support my wife and four kids comfortably. We need to educate young people and help them understand that there are tremendous opportunities available through the trades, apprenticeship programs and other skills training that can set them up with a good job with great wages and benefits.”
Commissioner McDonough was first elected to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners in 2000, a position he held for 22 years until his retirement at the end of 2022. His commitment to improving the lives of all Ramsey County residents was evident and he became a recognized leader in workforce development, serving as the Local Elected Official of the WIB twice, most recently from 2020-2022.
The WIB thanks Commissioner McDonough for his leadership, his dedicated service to the residents of Ramsey County and his legacy of impact on our community.
Commissioner Jim McDonough holding a cake.

Highlights

2022 was a year of impact for the Workforce Innovation Board. Through its financial support and direct participation, the Workforce Innovation Board sponsored, supported and hosted many job seeker and business events and activities throughout the year.
Workforce Innovation Board and committee members contributed over 650 hours in service in 2022!
Workforce Innovation Board’s impact:
  • Supported job fairs in east side Saint Paul, the Rondo neighborhood, Roseville and the Midway Area as well as the Union Job and Resource Fair - impacting over 100 employers and 500 job seekers by facilitating face-to-face connections.
  • Highlighted some of Ramsey County’s key industries, healthcare, tech and manufacturing, by supporting industry specific events, reports and resources.     
  • Sponsored the Fair Opportunities event series which raised awareness among employers about the benefits of hiring individuals involved with the criminal justice system. The highlight of the series was the Fair Opportunities Welcome Home Party and Fair Chances Hiring Event which helped connect formerly incarcerated individuals with employment and resources. The event attracted about 200 attendees and a dozen employers and resource providers.
  • Led the first Inclusive Workplaces Cohort supporting 17 employers in becoming more inclusive workplaces and amplifying the diversity of the local community as a tool for economic growth. The Center for Economic Inclusion facilitated the experience by creating a learning environment that fostered discussion and sharing of ideas.  
  • Participated in Career Connect Day, a Saint Paul Area Chamber hosted event for all Ramsey County high school sophomores. The event welcomed 1,600 students who had the opportunity to meet with more than 90 Minnesota businesses, in six different industry tracks, to explore a wide range of career pathways. The Workforce Innovation Board hosted a booth and provided transportation funding so that every school in Ramsey County could participate.
  • Recognized three recipients of the 2022 Vern Vick Memorial Award: Scott Herold, Jenny Moore and Peg Thomas. All were honored for their exceptional contributions in supporting and empowering Ramsey County’s youth through personal, academic or career development.   
  • Invested in the expansion of the Ramsey County Means Business website, a resource portal that now includes a self-submission feature on the workforce training dashboard.    
In 2022, the Workforce Innovation Board would not have been as impactful without partner assistance and support from the city of Saint Paul, CareerForce and a network of dedicated partner organizations.
Learn more about the programs and services offered by Workforce Solutions.