EMERGE Community Development is a “one-stop” hub for an array of services that help create economic opportunity and vitality in the north Minneapolis and Cedar Riverside communities. Each year, EMERGE helps connect more than 2,500 people to housing, employment training, job placement and other in-demand social services. It also operates four social enterprises that give people a chance to strengthen job skills through temporary employment opportunities. Through this network of support, EMERGE is better able to meet the unique needs of people who face multiple barriers to employment including lack of transportation, child care challenges, limited education or criminal background.
EMERGE built the Career and Technology Center to give north Minneapolis program participants easy access to job coaches and workforce development resources. The state-of-the-art facility is housed in a revitalized, historic structure that also serves as a space for community events and gatherings. EMERGE took this approach to infuse economic activity in an area of the city that was historically and economically distressed. The result: a prominent technology center that offers job training pathways for the community and brings hope for residents who were otherwise disengaged.
The RESTORE Program is a job training initiative tailored to the needs of formerly incarcerated men. Most RESTORE participants have a previous track record of repeat, low-level offenses and little to no work history. Staff and participants prepare resumes, practice interviewing skills and coordinate job searches prior to release. Once back in the community, participants are connected to a network of comprehensive supports thanks to EMERGE’s partnerships. Nearly half of the men who participated in the RESTORE program were employed once they completed it.
EMERGE hopes to share its innovations—regionally and nationally—and influence other breakthroughs in the field of workforce development.