BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

Jun 22 2010

Mayors Rybak and Coleman Launch Thinc.GreenMSP

BLUEGREEN ALLIANCE TAGS: Minnesota, Clean Energy

Mayors' Green Manufacturing Initiative Moves to Next level of Collaboration, Will Seek Private Investment

MINNEAPOLIS (June 22, 2010) - Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman today announced the launch of Thinc.GreenMSP, an unprecedented economic-development partnership between the two cities to retain, grow and attract green-manufacturing businesses and jobs in the Minneapolis Saint Paul region.

"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 Mayor Coleman. "As we work toward economic recovery and expansion, we all need to work smarter and closer together. Thinc.GreenMSP is a significant step forward in our efforts to market, grow and retain green jobs better than any region in America."

Thinc.GreenMSP represents the evolution of the Mayors' Green Manufacturing Initiative, a partnership begun in 2006 with the BlueGreen Alliance. The cities are backing Thinc.GreenMSP with a newly completed marketing plan and unprecedented sharing of staff and resources, drafting a joint-powers agreement to formalize the arrangement, and actively seek private investment and partnership in Thinc.GreenMSP.

"Thinc.GreenMSP is one more example of how Minneapolis and Saint Paul are collaborating as never before to make our entire region economically competitive," said Mayor Rybak. "As we move forward together, we turn to the Minneapolis Saint Paul business community to invest in Thinc.GreenMSP with us. Our two cities can't do this work alone, but together with the private sector, we can distinguish our region as an economic innovator and make it the perfect place to create, expand or relocate green businesses and the good jobs they create."

Mayors Coleman and Rybak - who met at Kapra Cosmetics, in Northeast Minneapolis, an expanding local green manufacturer - were joined by BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster, Restore Products Founder Laurie Brown, and representatives of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Saint Paul Port Authority.

"Minneapolis Saint Paul is well positioned to become a national leader in green manufacturing, and to create the jobs that come along with it," said David Foster. "Thinc.GreenMSP will be one of the most important economic development initiatives for this region in the coming decades."

Thinc.GreenMSP will immediately begin implementing five Strategic Initiatives to 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.

More information, including the reports for the Mayors' Green Manufacturing Initiative, can be found at www.bluegreenalliance.org/mspgmi.

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*The Mayors' Green Manufacturing Initiative is supported by the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation.