I was so excited Wednesday to join Alan Goldbloom, President of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the hospital’s largest expansion ever, with the opening of a new Children’s Specialty Center on Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis.
As we work to create jobs and improve our streets, we could not ask for a better partner than Children’s Hospital. This historic expansion, marked with the completion of this Specialty Center, is not only helping us put more people to work, but also to re-make Chicago Avenue into an even stronger spine for our largest job sector – the health and life sciences industry.
Using our innovative Workforce Agreement model, we worked with Children’s Hospital to amplify job creation for Minneapolis residents living in the neighborhoods near the hospital. As a result, 32 near-by residents and 59 residents from other Minneapolis neighborhoods were hired to help build the new Specialty Center. The Center also employed 22 resident apprentices and has hired 12 student interns through the City’s STEP-UP youth summer job program. This is in addition to the more than 2,300 people already employed at Children’s Hospital Minneapolis campus.
Besides creating jobs, the hospital expansion also supports our goal of remaking Chicago Avenue to be more pedestrian-friendly with wider sidewalks and boulevards, improved public gathering spaces, and more public art. We worked with Children’s on a new facility that uses street-friendly architecture and landscaping to enhance Chicago Avenue. Features that will be part of the site include solar light sculptures, a healing garden, specially designed blade art lighting along a new plaza and sidewalks, public art displays, and a customized bus shelter.
We are so proud that Children’s calls Minneapolis home and so excited about our partnership with them to bring new jobs to Minneapolis residents and bring new life to Chicago Avenue.
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