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Workforce Certificate

Minnesota thrives when state investments are used to intentionally undo disparities and inequities. That’s why certain businesses contracting with the State of Minnesota are required to have a Workforce Certificate. 

Workforce Certificates require contractors to actively work to hire, train, promote, and retain people of color, Indigenous people, women, and/or people with disabilities to ensure that Minnesota’s workforce reflects Minnesota’s demographics.

Workforce Certificates must be obtained through the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) and are valid for four years

Questions? Email us at compliance.mdhr@state.mn.us or call 651-539-1095.

Steps to Apply or Renew

Step 1: Meet the Requirements

Confirm you meet all the requirements below before applying or renewing for a Workforce Certificate.

If you are unsure if you qualify, please contact us before completing an application.

The facts below provide additional information.

 

Step 2: Complete the Application 

Apply/Renew

The Workforce Certificate application includes: 

  • Application Form
  • Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) 
  • Workforce and Utilization Analysis (WUA)

If you have questions during the process, contact us

Step 3: Make an Online Payment


The fee for a Workforce Certificate is $250. The certificate is valid for four years. 

You can pay online by using a credit card or a check by using the routing number and checking or savings account number.

After paying online, you will receive your payment confirmation number to enter in the application form. 

Requirements 

Contractors that meet the criteria below must apply for a Workforce Certificate.

  • Business Size: 40 or more full-time employees in Minnesota or in the state of its primary place of business for at least one day in the 12 months prior to executing the contract.
 
  • Contracting Entities: Contracts with Minnesota state departments and agencies, the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority, the Minnesota Airports Commission, and the Minnesota Metropolitan Mosquito Control Commission.
 
  • Contact Dollar Amount: A contract for goods and services likely to exceed $100,000.

Fast Facts

  • MDHR processes Workforce Certificates within 15 days of receipt of the entire application.  
  • Workforce Certificates are not needed for each contract because Workforce Certificates are tied to the company, not the contract. 
  • If you changed your business name, address, and/or primary contact, let us know by submitting this form
  • For local units of government (cities, counties, etc.) or the University of Minnesota: There are no Workforce or Equal Pay Certificates required for your projects because there are no bonding funds subject to this requirement in place at this time. These requirements will go into effect only when future bonding funds are appropriated. MDHR will update information when that happens.
  • Construction contractors with a Workforce Certificate and State or Metropolitan agencies’ funded construction contracts likely to exceed $100,000 are also required to complete a Preconstruction Packet before a project begins and submit Monthly Project Reports throughout the life of the project. 
  • Some contracts are exempt. Contracts for investments options under Minn. Stat. §356.645 between the State Board of Investment and businesses/firms are exempt. 

Workforce Certificate Audits 

To ensure that contractors are making good faith efforts towards hiring, training, promoting, and retaining people of color, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, and/or women, the Minnesota Human Rights Act authorizes MDHR to audit contractors. 

If a contractor is non-compliant, MDHR can issue fines up to $5,000 per calendar year for each contract. In addition, MDHR can suspend a non-compliant contractor’s certificate and/or revoke the contractor's ability to bid on future projects, pursuant to State. Minn. Stat. §363A.36, subds. 1 and 3; §363A.37 and Minn. R. 5000 et seq.

Contractor Non-Discrimination is the Law Posters 

After issuing a Workforce Certificate, MDHR will send the contractor posters in English and Spanish to post at each worksite/facility, including at construction sites. They are also available online here: 

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