Cast your vote to give the EMS Academy $25K!

The St. Paul EMS Academy is in the running for a $25,000 Local Government Innovators Award, and we need your vote!
The academy is one of three finalists (out of 100 entrants!) collecting votes here through Tuesday, Jan. 15. Up for grabs is $25,000 from the Bush Foundation, offered by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, in partnership with the Association of Minnesota Counties, the League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota School Boards Association.
Since 2009, the St. Paul EMS Academy has provided opportunity for minority, low-income and at-risk youth of St. Paul to be trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). The program is a collaborative of the St. Paul Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity, the St. Paul Fire Department, St. Paul public schools’ Hubbs Center, Inver Hills Community College, St. Paul Parks and Recreation’s Youth Job Corps, and the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties.
In the academy’s three years in operation, it has seen 202 students participate — 42 percent African-American, 15 percent Hispanic, 11 percent Asian, 9 percent American Indian and 12 percent multicultural. St. Paul has a disproportionate share of minority youths, while the emergency medical services workforce was almost entirely Caucasian and few EMTs were multilingual. In the entire state, one EMT of color graduated annually on average before this program.
The most recent academy class had a 75 percent graduation rate. Starting wage for an EMT is $31,000, well above the pay of the jobs that participants had before entry into the program. After graduation, some of the graduates continue their education to become advanced EMTs, paramedics and firefighters. Best of all, the program expects to be self-supporting. The St. Paul EMS Academy should be replicable for other communities.

You can cast your vote for the EMS Academy Jan. 7-15 online at challenges.incommons.org/lgia/finalists or by texting CITY to 228466.
Read more about the Local Government Innovators Award in the Star Tribune.

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