Economic Competitiveness and Inclusion Plan

Ramsey County Community & Economic Development
Economic Equity

Ramsey County Community & Economic Development’s (CED) focus is to improve the quality of life in their community by maintaining existing housing stock, expanding homeownership and affordable housing opportunities, installing safe infrastructure and facilities, remediating brownfields sites, redeveloping under-utilized properties, strengthening businesses, navigating economic development resources, and encouraging job growth.

The Challenge

CED’s vision for Ramsey County is one of economic competitiveness and inclusion, where its business and talent strengths create new industry growth and all residents have access to existing and future economic opportunities. Through embarking on its first Economic Competitiveness and Inclusion Plan, CED aimed to define a set of economic priorities and actions that might mitigate the impacts of institutional structural racism and disinvestment in Ramsey County’s Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous communities, while simultaneously accelerating economic growth and competitiveness in Ramsey County, ultimately arriving at a plan that could serve as a blueprint to advance the county’s economy above its peers. Eliminating racial disparities in employment, educational attainment and income; creating wealth for residents; addressing gaps in housing and affordability issues; and expanding the talent pool while leveraging existing partnerships, resources, and business expansion programs will help CED achieve its vision and strengthen economic outcomes for all.

Our Approach

Fourth Economy led the overall plan development and coordination between the local and national sub-consultants, and helped facilitate a holistic approach to addressing the community’s opportunities and challenges. Every step along the way, residents, businesses, community leaders, a steering committee, and the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners were invited to engage in the development of an implementable plan that outlines economic and community objectives to pursue over the next five years. This plan is innovative in its understanding of how current levels of poverty and disinvestment began decades ago, and its strategies prioritize inclusion in future investments and other actions related to housing, job creation, workforce development and place-based investments, while responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Results

The plan was adopted on March 23rd, 2021 and the Ramsey County team immediately began to implement the core recommendations. The first effort is the development of an HRA levy which will raise funds to support the affordable housing-related recommendations.

Client Type




Economic Development Plan

Project Type

Ramsey County, MN