Mayors Rybak, Coleman Welcome Passage of Thinc.Green MSP Agreement by City Councils
Joint-powers agreement is unprecedented economic-development partnership between Minneapolis, Saint Paul
September 24, 2010 (Minneapolis/Saint Paul) Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman today welcomed the passage by their City Councils of an unprecedented joint-powers agreement for Thinc.Green MSP, the economic-development partnership between the two cities that is designed to attract, retain and grow green-manufacturing businesses and jobs.
The Minneapolis City Council approved the Thinc.Green MSP agreement today, while the Saint Paul City Council approved it on Wednesday. Approval of the joint-powers agreement comes just three months after Mayors Coleman and Rybak introduced the finished marketing plan on June 22 at local green manufacturer, Kapra Cosmetics.
"Thinc.GreenMSP is the result of years of planning and partnership focused on one goal — making our region the center of a burgeoning green economy," said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. "This vote represents the commitment of both cities in working even more closely to stimulate economic recovery and expansion. It is a significant step forward in our efforts to market, grow and retain green jobs better than any region in America."
"Saint Paul and Minneapolis have been working together for years to help green businesses grow, and this formal agreement gives us one more important tool to position our cities as national leaders," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. "We will keep working together on initiatives like green procurement and green building standards to help drive demand, and we will seek the active partnership of the private sector in distinguishing our region as the perfect place to create, expand or relocate a green business and the good jobs they create."
Thinc.Green MSP represents the evolution of the Mayors’ Green Manufacturing Initiative, a partnership that began in 2006 with the Blue Green Alliance. The joint-powers agreement allows the cities formally to share staff and resources as they seek private investment and partnership in Thinc.Green MSP and implement the completed marketing plan.
The agreement also calls for the creation of a steering committee to help coordinate private, public and intergovernmental efforts to grow the region’s green economy. The 16 members of the committee, appointed equally by Mayors Rybak and Coleman with respective City Council approval, will consist of representatives from Mayor Coleman’s office, Mayor Rybak’s office, Saint Paul Planning and Economic Development or the Saint Paul Port Authority, Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development, a statewide or regional economic-development office, industry, finance, organized labor, a business association, and marketing and communications.
Saint Paul City Councilmember Russ Stark said, "The cooperation among Saint Paul, Minneapolis and our many partners will position our local economy well for job growth and sustainability."
Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden added, "We have terrific businesses in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul that provide good jobs to residents to produce products that are environmentally friendly. We are excited about actively helping them succeed and grow."
Todd Klingel, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, said, "We’re very pleased to see this joint-powers agreement take effect in both cities. We strongly support the development of regional partnerships to brand and advance Minneapolis-Saint Paul as an attractive choice for businesses, and believe our region has many assets that make us a leading market for the green economy. We are looking forward to continuing to work with both cities."
"This initiative will be a showcase of the benefits of working together to market our strengths regionally," Saint Paul Port Authority President Louis Jambois said. "It’s no secret that by joining forces we increase our prospects for future prosperity."
Minneapolis and Saint Paul will begin implementing Thinc.Green MSP through five strategic initiatives that will drive demand for locally-produced green products and services, as well as for the highly-skilled workers who make those products and deliver those services. The Initiatives are:
Strategic Initiative I – Buy Green: Local Government Green Purchasing Partnership
Working with Minneapolis Saint Paul and other jurisdictions, Thinc.GreenMSP will expand green-purchasing policies for local governments in the region to help grow the market for green products.
Strategic Initiative II – Green Town: Incentives for the Built Environment
Thinc.GreenMSP will support local and state actions to utilize aggressive green building standards. Establishing a green standard creates demand for manufacturers, vendors and suppliers of green products and services.
Strategic Initiative III – Re:Purpose: Match Existing Industrial Zones with Green Assets
A targeted green business recruitment strategy expresses a public commitment to attracting new businesses, spotlights smart-growth assets like transit, and offers superior space to companies that seek to create synergies with other compatible businesses.
Strategic Initiative IV – Early-Stage Financing: Finance Program through Local Investment Bank
A critical component in developing a green manufacturing base in Minneapolis Saint Paul is private start-up funding to seed businesses seeking to locate and/or grow within the region. Thinc.GreenMSP will develop creative, innovative and affordable financing options that will create new ways to leverage public investment with private capital, while accommodating start-ups with different needs.
Strategic Initiative V – Thinc.Leader: Recognition Program for Local Businesses
Thinc.GreenMSP will establish a program to recognize corporate leadership in green manufacturing.
Published Sep. 24, 2010