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Tuesday
Apr112017

President Arthur's Inauguration Praises Partnership

Metropolitan State President Ginny ArthurPartnerships were the theme as Metropolitan State University inaugurated Ginny Arthur as its seventh president last Friday.  President Arthur specifically recognized the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) and the reciprocal, positive relationships among institutions that such partnerships foster.  She noted the alignment of this partnership with the innovative, non-traditional institutional environment envisioned by Metropolitan State’s first president Dr. David Sweet.

“President Sweet’s observation, that Metropolitan State is not an ‘enclave within the cities’ for those who want to retreat from the urban environment and its issues, is exemplified today through partnerships that work with hospitals and major health care employers in the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership to address the region’s nursing shortages,” she said.

Sharon Pierce, President of Minneapolis Community & Technical College, took part in the inauguration and praised President Arthur’s commitment to collaboration with community colleges.  The Central Corridor College (C3) Fellows program is one highly successful initiative that benefits both MCTC and Metropolitan State students.  C3 Fellows connects college students to healthcare providers along the Green Line to gain part-time work experience in health careers. 

Metropolitan State is also serving as lead academic partner in CCAP’s  new Nursing  Initiative, designed to increase BSN nursing workforce diversity through a program offering Central Corridor RNs employer tuition support, scholarship funding, and specialized onboarding experiences.

Founded in 1971, Metropolitan State University has a deep commitment to community engagement.  A leader in four year college campus diversity, students of color and American Indian students account for nearly 50% of Metro State’s 2016-2017 class.

Tuesday
Mar282017

It’s Not About the Map – but the MISSION

Among the Central Corridor Anchors, Bethel University may appear to be geographically more distant from the Central Corridor, but we are closely connected to the Partnership’s mission of promoting regional prosperity through a more local workforce, spending more on local vendors, and promoting transit.  One clear example is our shared commitment to creating pathways to careers in healthcare. 

We recently launched Bethel’s new Center for Healthcare Excellence. Under the leadership of executive director Kristi Moline, the Center will develop pathways for Bethel University students and graduates to healthcare partners.  Our focus is to build stronger internal and external partnerships to benefit both Bethel students and the healthcare industry.  This support for careers in healthcare has led us to explore connections to the Partnership’s highly successful C3 Fellows program. Bethel’s new Center for Healthcare Excellence and C3 Fellows share a commitment to opening doors for college students to work in the healthcare industry. We are also excited to be a part of the Partnership’s new Nursing Initiative to create strong pathways for associate degree RNs to obtain BSN nursing degrees and thereby a more diverse healthcare workforce.

We are working on stronger regional transit connections to the A Line and the Green Line, but we are also setting our sights beyond geography.  At Bethel, we believe that with faith in Christ we can accomplish incredible things in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.  And we celebrate opportunities to work with our fellow Central Corridor Anchor Institutions to pursue healthier, stronger, and better connected communities in the Central Corridor, and beyond. 

Jay Barnes, President

Bethel University

Tuesday
Mar282017

A Beacon of Hope: C3 Fellow Noelia Diaz Sanchez

Noelia Diaz Sanchez first became aware of serious health challenges as a child. Her cousin was unable to move, eat, or play without the help of his parents, and when she was nine Sanchez learned that he was paralyzed by cerebral palsy due to malpractice at his birth. A few years later, her brother was born with Asperger’s Syndrome. “Why can’t the doctors fix them?” she recalled asking her parents. From a young age, Sanchez learned a difficult lesson: healthcare cannot solve everyone’s medical conditions. While most people might find this harsh reality unbearable, Sanchez took this news as a challenge she was determined to overcome. 

“If no one is able or willing to do anything,” she reflected as she thought about her brother and cousin, “then I will go and find a cure myself.”

Today, Sanchez is on her way to a successful career in healthcare. She joined the C3 Fellows program during her first semester at MCTC. Having completed her Associate’s Degree, Sanchez has now set her sights even higher: she plans to attend medical school and become a neurologist. As a C3 Fellow, she set herself up to excel in pursuit of her career goals. 

The Central Corridor College (C3) Fellows program connects college students in the Central Corridor with entry-level jobs in their area of interest at CCAP healthcare partners. This program has been immensely successful – it has matched nearly 250 students with paid field placements, and these students earn an average of $14 per hour, $6 more than Minnesota’s minimum wage. As of March 2017, 249 students are working in related fields and 231 of these positions are paid.

From Business in Spain to Health Care Abroad

Sanchez was born and raised in Madrid, Spain where her father owned a few businesses. At age 16, Sanchez enrolled in the Universidad de Malaga in southern Spain to study business. Although she had no trouble with the business curriculum, she found it impossible to ignore her lingering passion for medicine. The restrictive education system in Spain gave Sanchez two options: stay in her current program, or leave. “It wasn’t the right path for me,” she stated.  She dropped out, feeling a need to start over. 

Sanchez transitioned to a job working as the General Manager at Hispania’s Comfort Residence, a housing option for international students, most of whom were from the United States, studying abroad.  Sanchez overheard enough of these students’ conversations to conclude that education and career opportunities were more diverse and accessible in the United States. She recognized an opportunity to start over.  Sanchez took a leap of faith, leaving Spain with her husband to work towards a healthcare career in the United States.

Finding the C3 Fellows Connection

During her first semester at MCTC, Sanchez attended a job fair held on campus.  She visited every career booth before stopping to meet Brian Mogren, C3 Fellows Program Director. Within a few minutes of learning about her career aspirations, Mogren sat down with Sanchez to help her reformat her resume and write a cover letter. By the end of that day, Sanchez had applied to four healthcare positions with Mogren’s help.  Sanchez was thrilled and astounded by the dedication and energy that Mogren applied to connecting students to career advancement opportunities.

One key skill Sanchez learned as a C3 Fellow came from a conversation she had with Mogren immediately before her first interview. 

“Think before you speak,” she recalled him telling her, “Take your time, speak slowly, and be confident.”

Dedication and Ambition

With the support of Mogren and the C3 Fellows community of health care professionals, Sanchez is making strides toward achieving her career goals. In the spring of 2017, Sanchez enrolled in 17 credit hours, including a 7-hour EMT course. She completed the course with an A and her certification and now aims to gain experience in the medical field as an EMT. Her ultimate goal is to transfer to the University of Minnesota to complete her bachelor’s degree, one step closer to attending medical school. 

Sanchez declares that her goal to be a doctor is not about fame or wealth.

I want to be a beacon of hope for all.  So as a physician, I am unsure how to tell someone that they have a terrible illness,” she admits.  “How do you tell someone that they are dying? How do you tell someone that you, as a doctor, cannot do anything to help them?”

Thanks to C3 Fellows, Sanchez is well on her way to supporting the health of the community that she now calls home. 

Tuesday
Mar282017

Regions Employee Gina Krey Chose Transit and Isn’t Looking Back

Regions employee Gina Krey is on board with taking transit. Krey uses a Metro Pass paid for through a program Regions offers all employees to commute to and from work daily.

“I like the convenience of just walking to the bus. It goes fast, the driver is sweet, and it’s efficient timing-wise in terms of connecting to the light rail. I like that I’m saving gas money too.”

Krey saves about five minutes on her daily commute by taking transit, a modest benefit but one that is augmented by the other transit benefits she experiences. “Transit has helped me get outside more than if I were just in my car,” Krey said. Beyond physical health, Krey appreciates the stress relief that accompanies transit use. “It’s nice to just talk to whoever is on the bus or light rail and have somebody else drive for me.”  

Krey credits Regions’ Metro Pass program with inspiring her to consider transit. “It’s a huge benefit,” she said. “I’ve always thought about taking transit but it would be kind of complicated for me to figure out if I wanted to pay for that.”

Monday
Mar202017

Glass Installed in Augsburg College Project Emphasizing Inclusionary Contracting

During summer 2016, Augsburg College exceeded the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership’s inclusionary contracting goal to award a minimum of 10% of total project cost to local, women or minority owned firms in a major construction project.  McGough Construction, the general contractor working on Augsburg College’s Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion, relied on almost 13% local, women, or minority owned firms to complete the project—an economic value of $6,762,287.

The largest of these contracts was over $3 million to Twin City Glass Contractors, a woman-owned business located in the Central Corridor. Now, that glass is being installed as the Hagfors Center moves a step closer to completion.

Sue Wohlk, CFO of Twin City Glass was pleased with CCAP’s commitment.  “We greatly appreciated the opportunity to be part of this,” she stated.  “And we hope to be included in future CCAP projects.”  The company provides glass, glazing, aluminum curtainwall and storefronts throughout the region.

Steering Anchor Spending toward Corridor Vendors

The Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) seeks to secure regional prosperity in part through spending more with Central Corridor businesses.  CCAP has developed several initiatives to create wealth in communities adjacent to the Central Corridor by focusing and aggregating the demand from the Anchor institutions to local suppliers that employ and invest in the community. 

Augsburg College is the first CCAP member to utilize the Partnership’s inclusionary contracting policy adopted in December 2014.  The policy calls for CCAP members to consider adding contract language on large capital projects of $250,000 or greater that commits to utilizing local, women or minority owned firms for a minimum of 10% of total project cost.  

Best Practices for Local Prosperity


Many of CCAP’s public members have committed to similar goals through state contracting requirements.  Public institutions and other larger private business corporations in the Twin Cities region have successfully developed best practices and managed economic inclusion policies and programs utilizing Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and other targeted vendors for many years.  General contractors in the region are familiar with economic inclusion policies that target Local Business Enterprises (LBEs) and MBEs and are capable of fulfilling the requirements of such policies without creating significant additional costs.

McGough’s other contracts to MBE firms were for trucking, structural steel and concrete.  Looking ahead, McGough expects local and MBE firms to participate in mechanical and fire protection and electric contracts. 

Central to Augsburg’s Mission

The Hagfors Center is designed to foster interactions among areas of study, support active learning and connect the College to the community.  The new building embodies Augsburg’s commitment to student learning, urban place-making and thoughtful stewardship, according to Augsburg College President, Paul Pribbenow.  “Raising over $50 million for a building committed to Science, Business and Religion was a unique feat in itself,” reflected Pribbenow.  “It is also deeply meaningful for us that the economics of constructing this great building reflects Augsburg’s values of inclusion and diversity.”  

Monday
Mar132017

Successful Saint Paul College Career Fair

On Tuesday, March 7, Saint Paul College hosted a well-attended health sciences career fair for students from Saint Paul College and other Central Corridor Anchor Partnership schools. The fair began with a career panel moderated by C3 Fellows Director Brian Mogren and highlighted panelists Elle Nelson, Associate Recruiter at Regions Hospital, and Theresa Carroll, Recruiter at HealthEast. Mogren kicked off the panel, inviting the two panels to recall the least helpful questions they encountered at previous career events. Mogren sought to spark in attendees' minds a different way of thinking about jobs and careers.

The C3 Fellows program connects college students to healthcare providers located along the Metro Green Line. Students gain entry-level employment and necessary experience to become successful health care professionals.  The program is one step in the Partnership’s laddering approach to career development for Central Corridor zip code residents. To date, partners have collectively increased the percentage of their employees who are residents of the Central Corridor by over 5%. 

“Don’t just ask what I have open,” Nelson told students. “At any given time, I have upwards of 250 positions to fill. It’s important to have an idea of what kind of job you want.”

 

“It shows a lack of preparedness,” Carroll added to Nelson’s comment. “It gives the impression that you haven’t thought about what position would fit your skills and interests.”

Student questions for the panelists prompted tips about the importance of cover letters, recommended resume length, and how to make a job application stand out among the rest.

Following the panel, students spoke with representatives from healthcare and educational institutions. Education partners Metro State, St. Kate’s, and Augsburg College provided information about continuing education opportunities. Representatives from healthcare partners HealthEast, Regions, HealthPartners, Gillette Children’s Hospital, and Fairview discussed job opportunities, provided resume review, and offered mock on-site interviews.

 

 

 

The successful event exceeded expectations: student attendance was greater than predicted, and HealthEast and Augustana both set up interviews with promising students during the career fair. 

Monday
Mar062017

St. Paul College Career Fair

This Tuesday, March 7, St. Paul College and C3 Fellows will be hosting a health science career fair. A number of Central Corridor Partners will be in attendance, along with Hennepin County Medical Center. The fair will begin with an hour-long employer panel led by professionals from Regions Hospital and HealthEast. The panel will cover topics including the importance of a strong first impression and salary information, and students are encouraged to come prepared with their own questions.

 

Following the panel, there will be a career fair from 1 to 4 pm. Employers will be conducting resume reviews on the spot and providing opportunities for on-site interviews. There will also be 30-minute breakout sessions highlighting career pathways for students and graduates as well as student opportunities in healthcare.  Augsburg College, Metro State, and St. Catherine University will have information regarding continuing education opportunities.

 

Learn more about the event here.

Monday
Feb272017

C3 Fellow Profile: Kristine Girbe

The C3 Fellows program has placed over 225 C3 Fellows students in field placements, a milestone for the program. Fellows earn on average nearly $5 more per hour than students not in the program. Field placements are specific to the health care career interest of Fellows and connect them with CCAP partner employers in the health care field. 

Throughout her childhood on a dairy farm in northeastern Latvia, Kristine Girbe always had the ambition to pursue higher education outside of her rural community. Girbe was a senior in high school when the 2008 financial crisis hit Latvia. It became harder to access university education within the country, and Girbe turned her focus to higher education abroad. Her destination: the Twin Cities.

 

Thanks to support from an aunt who had relocated to Minnesota and her family back home, Girbe came to the Twin Cities to pursue college education.

In her first year as a nursing student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), Girbe applied and was accepted to the Central Corridor College Fellow (C3 Fellows) program.

The C3 Fellows program connects college students to healthcare providers along the Metro Green Line to gain entry-level employment and necessary experience to be successful health care professionals.  The program is one step in the Partnership’s laddering approach to career development for Central Corridor zip code residents. To date, partners have collectively increased the percentage of their employees who are residents of the Central Corridor by over 5%.

A Health Care Calling

It was during her first semester at MCTC in a hands-on anatomy and physiology lab entitled “pig anatomy” that Girbe decided that health care was right for her.

“The labs inspired me,” Girbe said.  “Immediately, I wanted to figure out how all of this related to humans.”

An Entry Level Job at the UMN Medical Center

As an international student at MCTC, Girbe struggled to make professional connections within the health care field.  Meeting C3 Fellows Program Director Brian Mogren, however, changed everything.

Girbe met Mogren at one of the C3 Fellows program’s free CPR training sessions for MCTC students. After learning Girbe’s story, Mogren connected her with professionals in the human resources department of the University of Minnesota Medical Center.  These professionals and Mogren helped Girbe boost her resume, enhance her interview skills, and successfully land an entry-level position in the healthcare field as a floating custodian for the University of Minnesota Medical Center. 

Girbe’s entry-level position offered a window into the behind-the-scenes workings of a large and diverse health care institution.  Girbe regularly cleaned surgical instruments after procedures such as bone marrow transplants. She frequently enjoyed interacting with patients and appreciated the supportive work environment fostered by nurses and doctors on the surgery teams.  

“Everyone was so friendly and encouraging.  I enjoyed the experience very much,” Girbe reflected.  “Being [at the Medical Center] helped me see my future.  I could see myself working in a hospital helping people.”

Today Girbe holds an Associate’s Degree in nursing from MCTC, anticipates receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Metropolitan State University in May 2017, and plans to study a PhD in physical therapy and work in a rehabilitation center with patients on post-accident remobilization.

“I want to help people manage their new lives,” Girbe said.

Girbe credits the C3 Fellows program with providing much of the support and guidance she needed to make her academic goals in a new country a reality.

 

Thursday
Feb162017

National Visibility, Economic Benefit Result of Workforce Pathways

The Central Corridor Anchor Partnership has a demonstrated track record of fostering workforce pathways from communities into local Anchor institutions. The expanding national visibility of this work is accompanied by a growing interest in and attention to the Partnership’s development of a sustainable workforce pathways model through Scrubs Camps, C3 Fellows, and its new Nursing Initiative.

C3 Fellows has created over $600,000 of economic benefit to the Central Corridor

The Partnership’s ambitious workforce development initiatives have created impressive added value and economic benefit to the Central Corridor. To date, the C3 Fellows program has created over $600,000 of economic benefit. Over 225 Central Corridor students have participated in the C3 Fellows program. These students earn nearly $5 more per hour compared to their peers while gaining valuable networking opportunities working and interning part-time with Corridor employers.

 

 

CCAP’s career pathways workforce model mirrors recommended best practices

According to the 2017 Report to the Legislature from the Governor’s Workforce Development Board, chaired by Fairview partner Laura Beeth, Minnesota is facing a labor shortage across an array of industries due to inadequate training, education, and career experience of job applicants. The report notes that as many members of the current working population retire, Minnesota’s industries are left with more openings and fewer applicants, less qualified applicants, and more applicants of color than ever before. The best practices recommended in this report mirror the Partnership’s strategies of intentional investments in alternative career pathways, partnerships with private sector leaders to connect workforce pipelines, linking education and employment through apprenticeship programs, and building a workforce pathway beginning with high school students and continuing through to full time jobs and careers. Educating and diversifying Minnesota’s workforce is key to the state’s economic success.

In the next five years there will be over 6,500 health care job openings in the Twin Cities  

The Partnership’s development of a Nursing Initiative apprenticeship program is an intentional effort to grow its workforce pathway model. It is also a direct response to the 3,250+ four year BSN nursing jobs that will become available in Minneapolis and Saint Paul over the next five years.  This collaborative program supports racially and ethnically diverse RN nurses from the Central Corridor to earn BSN degrees.

Following presentations by Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow and Fairview System Director of Talent Acquisition Laura Beeth at the fall 2016 Anchor Institution Task Force Conference in New York City, the Partnership was invited to submit an article on its workforce and other initiatives to the conference journal. Fairview’s involvement on the national stage, including recognition by the White House for its commitment to hire youth workers and award of a federal grant to fund nursing apprenticeships, has brought additional exposure to the work of the Partnership.

The message is clear: the Partnership’s workforce development focus rides the cutting edge of career pathways programming in the nation, and will only become more important as our Anchor Partners look to hire more members of Minnesota’s increasingly diverse population.

 

 

Thursday
Feb162017

Live, Work, and be Healthy along the Green Line

Do you work at a Green Line institution? Looking to relocate? Whether you’re renting or buying, living and working close to transit, especially light rail, promises significant benefits for your wallet and health.

Image courtesy of Corridors of Opportunity TeamMany Twin Cities households spend more on transportation than housing. Forgoing driving for transit can save one household thousands of dollars annually. The American Public Transportation Association found that the average household without a car saves $9,200 annually. In the Twin Cities, the average cost of living in the suburbs compared to living in the Central Corridor and using the Green Line for transportation is $10,000 greater.

There is a high demand for affordable multi-family housing in the Central Corridor, and Plymouth-based developer Dominium plans to help fulfill that need. During spring 2017, it will begin construction of a $60 million, 216-unit affordable apartment complex located a short walk from the Raymond Avenue Green Line station. The existing Carleton Artist Lofts are located adjacent to the Raymond Avenue station and rented at affordable rates. Both developments are part of the Big Picture Project, a public-private partnership which aims to increase the number of affordable housing units built and maintained along the Green Line.

The financial benefits of living and working along the Green Line are impressive, but the perks don’t end there: choosing transit over driving also has a number of health benefits. Adults who take transit are more likely to achieve daily physical activity goals and are less likely to experience health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure, and enjoy better mental health.

Michael Huber, health consultant at the Center for Prevention of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, notes the strong inverse relationship between obesity and active transportation use. Transit users walk more throughout the day and meet or exceed the daily walking target for heart health of 22 minutes per day, which fewer than half of adults in the United States achieve.

Bassett, D. et al. (2008) Walking, Cycling, and Obesity Rates in Europe, North America, and Australia. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 5: 795-814.Research shows a high inverse correlation between “rates of active transportation”—namely, trips taken on foot, bike, bus, or train—and obesity. In a study tracking health indicators in the United States and Europe from 1994 to 2006, U.S. participants took transit the least—and were the most obese.

There are societal benefits to choosing public transit. Fewer cars on the road correlate to fewer traffic accidents and less air pollution. Making the choice to live and work near the Green Line can save you money, improve your health, and positively impact your overall well-being. 

Thursday
Feb162017

Local Food at Health Care Partners

CCAP health care partners are going local with their food purchasing. From working through food supplier Sodexo to one-on-one procurement with local producers, health care partners are serious about buying local.

 



Three CCAP health care partners are working with Sodexo to purchase food through more local vendors. Sodexo is tracking purchase locality by asking vendors that sell to Sodexo to provide data on purchases within CCAP zip codes. Once this baseline data on purchase locality is available, Sodexo will seek to add more local vendors in different purchasing categories.

 

Other partners are working with individual local vendors to secure food purchases. HealthPartners is now buying from Urban Organics located on the east side of Saint Paul. This year-round supplier of fresh produce is proving a good fit for serving several smaller HealthPartners hospitals. HealthPartners look to supply other locations within its network through Urban Organics, and may also begin purchasing fish from the vendor.

 

HealthEast purchasing staff are in talks with The Good Acre, a non-profit food hub. The supplier is located in the Central Corridor and provides facilities, warehouse space, transportation assistance, cooler and freezer storage space, and wholesale distribution to low-income, immigrant independent farmers.

 

Monday
Feb132017

CCAP College Pass Part of National Transit Trend

Photo courtesy of Alicia ValentiAs millennials around the country forgo car ownership in favor of saving money and environmental stewardship, colleges are partnering with regional transportation agencies to make public transit more attractive and accessible for this demographic.

Here in the Twin Cities, Metro Transit conducts the College Pass program, which provides discounted passes for unlimited rides to students at more than 40 local colleges. Metro Transit also offers the Go-To card, a reusable transit pass that can be automatically reloaded with value. In the fall of 2016, Metro Transit partnered with CCAP to promote the Go-To card program. Students at Central Corridor Partners St. Catherine’s University, St. Thomas University, Augsburg College, and Bethel University had the opportunity to obtain a bonus $10 for their Go-To cards, and more than 1800 cards were distributed among the four schools. CCAP partner University of Minnesota offers its own option, the U-Pass.

Other cities have launched similar efforts. Chicago’s successful U-Pass program includes over 40 participating institutions. Students receive unlimited rides through the  Chicago Transit Authority during the school year and can load the same Ventra card with value when not enrolled. This minimizes the hassle with switching between the U-Pass and city system.

Denver’s CollegePass system is similar with 11 colleges and universities providing discounted transit passes to over 100,000 students.  Students who live outside the service area or who are unable to use transit are not eligible for the program.

Seattle offers the greatest variety in student transit options. The University of Seattle offers a U-Pass to all eligible students, providing access to unlimited bus and light rail rides. Seattle University has a similar program, Orca Lift, which offers transit passes at a reduced transit fare. North Seattle College offers a $200 value Orca Card to students for $125, with the option to switch to the PugetPass for unlimited monthly rides.

Even cities not typically known for their focus on walkability are integrating transit into the lifestyle of their college students. Los Angeles rolled out a new discounted-pass program in fall 2016 with 13 universities and community colleges participating. In Las Vegas, the Regional Transportation Commission offers steeply discounted transit passes to students at three participating colleges.

These booming cities are not alone in offering great transit options to students. Sacramento Regional Transit offers a deeply discounted monthly pass to students at local colleges. Five Cleveland universities offer a U-Pass for only $25 per semester. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, all eligible students can obtain a free bus pass by showing a current photo ID.

Transit is growing in popularity and more millennials are choosing urban colleges. Colleges and universities are responding by fostering a culture of transit among their students by making transit use more accessible.

Monday
Feb062017

Live and Work on the Green Line

 

 

Image courtesy of Corridors of Opportunity Team.

Do you work in the Central Corridor? Are you looking for a new home? Consider living along the Green Line!

Do you work at a Green Line institution? Are you looking to relocate? Whether you’re renting or buying, living and working close to transit – and especially light rail – can have huge benefits for your wallet and your health.

Many Twin Cities households spend more on transportation than housing, and by forgoing driving in order to take transit, households can save thousands of dollars each year. A study by the American Public Transportation Association found that the average household without a car saves $9,200 on transportation costs each year, and here in the Cities the savings may be even greater. According to a comparison done by the Corridors of Opportunity Affordable Housing/Transit-Oriented Development Implementation Team of the average cost of living in the suburbs with that of living in the Central Corridor, a household of four could save more than $10,000 on transportation by making the move to a home near the Green Line.

While these savings are remarkable, the cost of living within the city can be a major concern, particularly for lower-income families. Accordingly, there is a high demand for affordable multi-family housing in the Central Corridor, and Plymouth-based developer Dominium plans to help fulfill that need. During spring 2017, they will begin construction of a $60 million, 216-unit affordable apartment complex located a short walk from the Raymond Avenue Green Line station.

In addition to this new workforce housing project, the Carleton Artist Lofts are located adjacent to the Raymond Avenue station and rented at affordable rates. Both developments are part of the Big Picture Project, a public-private partnership which aims to increase the number of affordable housing units built and maintained along the Green Line.

The financial benefits of living and working along the Green Line are impressive, but the perks don’t end there: choosing transit over driving also has a number of health benefits. Adults who take transit are more likely to achieve daily physical activity goals, resulting in a number of health improvements. They are less likely to experience health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure; enjoy better mental health; and are more likely to achieve the amount of daily activity recommended for obtaining these benefits.  

For these reasons and more, making the choice to live and work near the Green Line can save you money, improve your health, and positively impact your overall well-being.  

 

Monday
Jan302017

The Health Benefits of Walking + Transit

Walking to the bus stop or train station?  It might be the easiest way to do something for your health!

Do you have a 10-15 minute walk to get to your bus stop or train station?  That’s a great addition to your commute – you can get somewhere and improve your health at the same time.

Michael Huber, health consultant at the Center for Prevention of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, notes the strong inverse relationship between obesity and active transportation use, like transit. Transit users walk more throughout the day, which correlates to a reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, stroke and diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A daily walking target for heart health is 22 minutes per day, which fewer than half of adults in the United States achieve. Public transit users, however, almost all meet or exceed the 22 minute target while walking to and from transit stops.

Bassett, D. et al. (2008) Walking, Cycling, and Obesity Rates in Europe, North America, and Australia. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 5: 795-814.Research shows a high inverse correlation between “rates of active transportation”—namely, trips taken on foot, bike, bus, or train—and obesity. In a study tracking health indicators in the United States and Europe from 1994 to 2006, U.S. participants took transit the least—and were the most obese.

The U.S. has relatively poor health outcomes and high healthcare costs compared with peers, due in part to high per capita traffic fatality rates and diseases resulting from sedentary living. Public transit improvements can improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

Inadequate physical activity contributes to numerous health problems, causing an estimated 200,000 annual deaths in the U.S., and significantly increasing medical costs. Among physically able adults, average annual medical expenditures are 32% lower for those who achieve physical activity targets ($1,019 per year) than for those who are sedentary ($1,349 per year).

The benefits of public transit use spread far beyond individual public health. Fewer cars on the road correlate to fewer automobile traffic accidents, and less air pollution. Families and individuals without a car are able to access better medical care and food options when they have access to and use public transit.

It’s easy to engage in walking on a daily basis. Walking is a safe low-impact exercise for all ages, and it’s fun and gets you where you need to go.  Walking has numerous health benefits, including:

  • Controls and prevent hypertension
  • Increases HDL-cholesterol levels (good cholesterol)
  • Controls weight
  • Increases bone density
  • Decreases mental stress
  • Improves circulation and posture

Sources: www.activelivingresearch.org, www.walkboston.org, www.apta.com (VTPI: Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits), Federal Transit Administration

Friday
Jan202017

Green Line Ridership Exceeding Expectations

Photo courtesy of metrotransit.org.

Less than three years after its grand opening, ridership on the Metro Transit Green Line has soared past expectations, with its average weekday ridership of 39,386 falling just shy of the weekday ridership of 41,000 projected for 2030 and 12.7 million rides for the year. The Green Line’s immense success is consistent with a greater trend of increased demand for public transit, as Metro Transit’s 2016 ridership exceeded 80 million unique rides for the sixth consecutive year.

Some of the growth is certainly a result of the significant destinations situated in the Green Line corridor, including colleges, health care centers, and a number of local businesses such as restaurants and retailers. As investment in the Green Line continues to grow, particularly with the planned extension, ridership and further investment along the corridor are expected to increase as well. 

Monday
Nov212016

Partnership in National Spotlight

Fairview System Director of Talent Acquisition Laura BeethAugsburg College President and Partnership Chair Paul PribbenowAugsburg College President Paul Pribbenow and Laura Beeth, Fairview’s System Director of Talent Acquisition, represented the Partnership at the Anchor Institutions Task Force annual conference in New York on November 11.  CCAP Counsel Louis Smith also attended the gathering of over 140 leaders of education and medical institutions from across the United States.   

 

CCAP’s work was praised for its progress and commitment to equity and regional prosperity. With 12 partners, CCAP is the largest anchor partnership in the country.    

Monday
Nov212016

C3 Fellow Profile - Diane Barber

C3 Fellow Diane BarberDiane Barber is not a quitter.

A mother of adult children who struggled with her own physical limitations, Barber was looking for a lifestyle change. A new routine of daily workouts at the gym gave Barber renewed confidence in her abilities, accompanied by a sense that her personal progress could be an infectious catalyst.

The positive physical changes she experienced inspired her to make a professional change that would enable her to spread a message of positive self-growth through her daily work. Barber decided to leave her career as a medical records administrator and enroll at Saint Paul College to pursue an associate’s degree in accounting and personal training with a certificate in holistic nutrition.

Barber became a Central Corridor College (C3) Fellow to connect with health care providers in the Twin Cities. The C3 Fellows program offers students living along the Metro Transit Green Line opportunities to gain entry-level and necessary experience to become successful health care professionals. 

I am finally moving forward with my education so that I can satisfy a long-term goal of mine: a career within health care,” she reflected.

A Bumpy Start to Career Change 

Barber’s experience as a mid-career adult returning to school at Saint Paul College got off to a bumpy start.

She suffered a concussion during her first year while pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Personal Training. Related health setbacks including weaker memory required extra effort on her part to write all of her thoughts down so as not to forget them later. She struggled in a required statistics course, but got a tutor, and worked through tears of frustration to complete the course. Every day, Barber was determined to work harder so that she could progress and succeed in her health care career.

Casual Encounter Opens Doors

In 2013, Barber unintentionally introduced herself to Brian Mogren, C3 Fellows Program Director, while casually inquiring about a poster advertising the various professional opportunities offered through the Fellowship.  Mogren introduced himself and encouraged Barber to meet with him later that afternoon. 

Before meeting Brian, I never thought that I could be a C3 Fellow,” she said.  “He encouraged me to apply that afternoon.  I am so grateful that I bumped into him that day.”

Following their conversation, Barber successfully applied for a position at Region’s Hospital/HealthPartners as an administrative assistant.  For a year, this position allowed Barber to financially support herself while attending classes, and helped her build a network within the health care field.  After her conversation with Mogren, she learned the importance of effective communication and to never be afraid to ask for what you need.  Barber’s proactive inquiry about the C3 Fellows program set her on a path for success during and after her time at Saint Paul College.

Giving Back

Barber maintains a close connection with Mogren and the C3 Fellows program.  As a C3 Fellow, she has taken advantage of the opportunity to attend several hospital tours, learn tips on how to maintain a job, and build confidence in her skills in establishing professional connections.  Today, she continues to find ways to give back to her community and the C3 Fellows program so that others can follow in her footsteps.

As a C3 Fellows alumnus, Barber volunteers to lead the Scrubs Camp hosted by Gillette Children’s Hospital.  In this mentorship role, she has the opportunity to inspire young adults.  One of the biggest lessons she teaches her students is, “Don’t be afraid to follow your goals. All you have to do is trust yourself and never quit.” 

With that attitude, there is no question that Barber will continue to experience success in her career as a personal trainer, helping to shape healthier, happier lifestyles for people in the Twin Cities.

Monday
Nov212016

Nursing Initiative Reaches Halfway Mark with $150,000 in Commitments from F.R. Bigelow Foundation and Otto Bremer Trust

Otto Bremer Trust has committed $100,000 and the F.R. Bigelow Foundation has committed $50,000 to the Partnership's Nursing Initiative

Monday
Nov212016

CareerStat Recognizes Fairview's Workforce Commitment

Fairview CEO David Murphy and System Director of Talent Acquisition Laura BeethOn October 31, CareerStat, a program of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, recognized Fairview Health Service’s extensive investment in its frontline health care workforce. MSPWin Director Bryan Lindsley noted that frontline workers represent 50% of the total health care workforce. Laura Beeth recognized the Partnership’s role as a coalition of medical and educational institutions along the Light Rail in developing strategies for people who live in our community and want to work and get an education here as well. The Partnership focuses on “how to mirror the community in the workforce,” Beeth noted.

CareerStat has created a guide for employers with an overview of investment practices for investing in frontline health care workers to achieve a better engaged, better qualified workforce that correlates directly to patients’ experiences. Entry level frontline jobs represent 4 in 10 open health care positions in the country. CareerStat applauded Fairview for leading many of the best practices it has outlined as most effective, including making higher learning accessible (e.g., GED or post-secondary degree program) and providing opportunities for advancement and exploration. Fairview has also excelled at integrating these best practices with its business operations and at leveraging resources to support its efforts, including involvement in the Partnership and seeking outside funding.

Fairview CEO David Murphy noted that Fairview believes in hiring locally, and that its Riverside campus has the greatest diversity of any of its campuses. “We’re in the business of improving community health,” said Murphy. “We know that we deliver better health care when our caregivers reflect our patients and the community.”

Monday
Nov212016

St. Thomas' 2-Year College to Benefit Low-Income Students

St. Thomas will begin offering a two-year program through its new Dougherty Family College to provide a pathway for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to four-year degrees.

150 students will pay as little  as $1,000 per year to earn a two-year associates degree and have the opportunity to transfer into a four-year program. Students will be assessed for admission using different standards from those applied to traditional students, and will be provided culturally responsive instruction during their program.