Developing Our Workforce

Maintenance employees clean equipment at the Metro wastewater treatment plant in Saint Paul.Our skilled, dedicated workforce is the foundation of our success. From machinists, electricians, and plant operators to interceptor service workers, engineers, environmental scientists, and additional support staff, our 630 employees share a commitment to protecting public health and the environment. We sharpened our focus on workforce development activities in 2021 to invest in our people and our future.

Construction inspector trainee in hard hat, mask, and safety clothing.

Launch of the Construction Inspection Training Program

Traditionally, construction inspector job postings draw a similar pool of candidates: qualified individuals with considerable experience in the construction industry, but with limited gender and ethnic diversity that is not reflective of the community we serve.

Anticipating a need to fill several construction inspector positions in the next few years, we created a workforce development solution that identifies individuals from diverse backgrounds who have the aptitude, interest, and commitment to grow in a career as a construction inspector.

The first hires were made in summer 2021, including people of diverse genders and ethnicities with varied employment backgrounds. These new employees are now on a progressive career pathway designed to build the experience and knowledge they will need to succeed in their roles. “This program is especially rewarding because it allows us to not only recruit from a more diverse population but allows us to train future inspectors in the specifics of the job,” said Jim Sailer, manager of Construction Services.

Progress made on Racial Equity Strategic Action Plan

Working with a cross-divisional team representing a wide range of executives, managers, and front-line staff, we made significant progress in 2021 on our racial equity initiative. MCES employees completed an equity survey; intercultural development activities were conducted with MCES leaders; and focus groups were conducted to gather feedback from Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) MCES employees. These activities provided valuable direction as we develop our Racial Equity Strategic Action Plan, to be finalized and implemented in 2022.

Electrician apprentice at the Metro Plant.

Recruiting videos spotlight the diversity of our staff and career paths

With a focus on speaking to a younger, more diverse audience, we launched a video project designed to highlight the careers available throughout MCES. “We wanted to create engaging, personal videos that showcase the diversity we have in both who we hire and our many potential career paths,” said Kristi Goble, program coordinator, Workforce and Equity.

The first three videos feature Nancy Gonzalez, electrician apprentice, and Bryan Trost, electrician, both from Electrical Planning and Maintenance, and Sadie Wolf, principal contract administrator, Construction Services.