Humphrey School News

Target’s Community Partnerships Extend to Humphrey School

June 23, 2017
Target corporate headquarters building

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. has a long and distinguished legacy of corporate responsibility, which includes its relationship with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Target has been a major sponsor of the School’s annual Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards for the past six years, supporting the recognition of individuals and organizations striving toward a greater common good.

“Target is proud to be a longtime supporter of the Public Leadership Awards,” said Thad Hellman, Target’s senior director of state and local government affairs. “We are humbled by the work being done by these remarkable leaders.”

Target’s sponsorship of the annual awards gala helps the School raise funds to support scholarships for students. Since the establishment of the Public Leadership Awards in 2003, donors have contributed nearly $1.5 million toward that effort.

Target’s partnership with the Humphrey School runs deeper than its financial support, in line with its longstanding philosophy that businesses should act in the best interests of society. Its corporate social responsibility efforts are focused in the areas of sustainability, inclusion, and community engagement, which align with the Humphrey School’s major areas of emphasis.

An example of that philosophy is Target’s support of Minnesota-based Thor Companies, one of the largest African American-owned construction companies in the United States. Thor is building a new $36 million headquarters, office and retail complex in the economically challenged neighborhood of North Minneapolis, and Target is a significant investor in that project.

At the January groundbreaking for the building, Target CEO Brian Cornell said Target is proud of its relationship with Thor, and is committed to investing in North Minneapolis. Thor Companies is being recognized with a Public Leadership Award this year because of its innovative approach to economic development and its dedication to revitalizing North Minneapolis.

Target’s relationship with the Humphrey School reaches to a personal level as well; Hellman notes that many Humphrey School alumni serve on the company’s board and advisory committees, and are employed by the company. In addition, many Target team members enroll in the School’s various programs. Hellman himself was a Humphrey Policy Fellow in 2010-11.

“As a result of that experience, I’ve seen up close how the Humphrey School inspires people to work together to improve the common good and solve our nation and world’s most urgent problems,” he said.

“We have a longstanding partnership with the Humphrey School, and a like-minded desire to prepare new leaders who can work together to solve key problems we all face,” said Hellman. “We look forward to working together in the future to improve the communities we serve.”

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