While the Twin Cities maintains a strong employee workforce, economic disparities are evident – particularly in the African-American and Somali-American communities.
Minnesota’s overall median household income is more than twice the median for Black households, and the rate of poverty for Black Minnesotans is three times the rate for all residents. In addition, the African-American population is the only demographic group in Minnesota to have experienced a decline in income in the most recent census data.
To that end, Medtronic announced the assignment of Dr. Sylvia Bartley to serve as coordinator of Medtronic’s economic development partnerships with North Minneapolis and Cedar Riverside communities. This 12-month assignment is a collaborative between the company’s business and philanthropic commitments.
In the role, Bartley will help guide understanding of how Medtronic might best contribute to job and employment growth efforts already under way in two of this area’s hardest-hit communities. As part of a larger plan that includes increasing supplier diversity and educational opportunities, she will oversee the pillar of the program focused on increasing job opportunities at Medtronic with the goal of improving both employment numbers and median incomes of Black American residents in Minnesota.
Bartley began her career at Medtronic UK in 2001, and held several roles across sales, marketing and physician development within Neuro and RTG in London and Tolochenaz before moving to Minneapolis in 2010. Her commitment to closing the achievement gap for African-American students in the Twin Cities led her to local community leadership, including her current role as co-chair of the African American Leadership Forum (AALF). She was awarded a 2014 Bush Foundation Fellowship and the Minneapolis and St. Paul Business Journal’s 2013 Diversity in Business Award for her contribution to education reform in the Twins Cities and her work at Medtronic.