Northside Job Creation Team

Northside Job Creation Team

With a goal of attracting 1,000 sustainable-wage jobs to North Minneapolis by 2019, the Northside Job Creation Team (NJCT) is working with business owners and community leaders to identify potential sites for start-up businesses and company relocations. In October 2013, the NJCT received a $65,000 grant from the Minneapolis Foundation's Northside Funders Group to hire a project director and student researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management to oversee the segments of the project.

The NJCT is a collaboration representing major stakeholders across the University, as well as from the City of Minneapolis, Governor's Urban Initiative Board, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minneapolis Urban League, Pillsbury United Communities and the local business and faith communities. University partners include UROC, Carlson School of Management’s Carlson Consulting Enterprise, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, and the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

NJCT Report on the Creation of a Northside ‘Makers District’

In 2014, NJCT representatives made recommendations based on their findings. The recommendations include creating the North Minneapolis-based "Makers District," a type of industry-specific commercial park that focuses on the garment, apparel and food sectors. The garment and apparel sector was targeted, in part, because of Minneapolis' tradition of clothing manufacturing. The food sector recommendations resulted from verbal commitments from a number of food operators, including aeroponics growers, fruit processors, and nutrition-based companies. The research was conducted by the University's Carlson Consulting Enterprise and Carlson Ventures Enterprise and presented to Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Gov. Mark Dayton, and members of the Northside Funders Group. Download the NJCT’s presentation here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the initiative’s history?
Sparked by a North Minneapolis job summit with Gov. Mark Dayton held at UROC in 2010, the NJCT grew out of years of legwork by members of the Urban Initiative Board, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and former city council member Jackie Cherryholmes. The NJCT is now coordinated by UROC staff.

What are the initiative’s goals?
The NJCT’s goal is to attract 1,000 sustainable-wage jobs in North Minneapolis by 2019. To accomplish that goal, the NJCT will provide market research to capitalize on untapped leadership and resources

The NJCT is working toward reversing the deficit of living-wage jobs and large employment disparity in the communities of Near North and Camden in Minneapolis (known as the Northside). Local residents are rich in skills and diversity but living-wage jobs are badly needed. The unemployment rate is 16.8 percent, compared with 5.5 percent for the rest of Minneapolis. Many barriers create this high unemployment rate, including historical factors such as discriminatory lending practices and historically low home-ownership rates, as well as generational poverty, education and health disparities, and high rates of incarceration. These factors are interconnected and interact as a vicious cycle, where lack of stability in one area can cascade through all areas.

The NJCT coordinates with existing economic and vitality work, including Penn Avenue Community Works and Minneapolis’ planning around the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Promise Zone grant. The NJCT also works with the University's Office for Equity and Diversity to increase minority- and women-owned businesses contracting with the University.

Who are the partners?
The NJCT is made up of stakeholders from the University of Minnesota, City of Minneapolis, Urban Initiatives Board, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minneapolis Urban League, Pillsbury United Communities, workforce and training and placement agencies, and the Northside business and faith communities.

What are the community benefits?
The NJCT is working toward reversing the shortage of living-wage jobs and large employment disparity in the communities of the Near North and Camden neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The NJCT focuses on employment as a foundation for building community development and greater self-sufficiency in the targeted neighborhoods. A living-wage job creates income, which leads to more stable housing. Research shows that housing stability is directly correlated with academic achievement, health, and wellness.

Download presentations

Click on the following links to download these presentations and reports.

CCE-NJCT Final Presentation (Spring 2013) – Initial research by Carlson Consulting Enterprise on CFE, NRRI and the establishment of the NJCT Research model.

CCE-NJCT Final Presentation (Winter 2013) – Exploration of additional food cluster options and results of employer survey in North Minneapolis.

CVE – Barriers and Makers District (Spring 2014) – Analysis of current employment barriers and discussion of a manufacturing corridor.

CVE Food Cluster (Spring 2014) – Discussion of the viability of a North Minneapolis food cluster anchored by processing and distribution.

Real Estate Mapping Presentation (Spring 2014) – Analysis of current commercial and industrial real estate in North Minneapolis and the need for an updated database of available property.



Click on the following to download these project documents.

NJCT Member Responsibilities
NJCT Update on NFG (Summer 2014)
NJCT Vision Mission Statement


NJCT in the news

Click on the links to read and watch recent stories.  

CW Twin Cities TV Our Issues Twin Cities: Revitalizing North Minneapolis May 14, 2017

Minnesota Alumni Magazine Awesomely Urban: How the U is Unique Fall 2016 

Insight News Initiative Promotes State Jobs Expands Business Opportunity April 17, 2017