In recognition of winning a 2016 Bush Prize for Community Innovation, this grant will advance the organization’s charitable mission
Changes because of the Bush Prize:
The Bush Prize has had a huge positive impact on EMERGE. Not only has the Prize raised the profile of our work in the community, the attached funding has enabled us to take on major new undertakings that are moving EMERGE forward to the next stage of organizational development. It has given us the financial stability to advance projects with confidence and to leverage other opportunities.
Key accomplishments this year include:
• The launch of the new Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center (C-ROC) in March of 2017, is bringing greatly expanded resources to the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
• Our new 5-year Strategic Plan launched in 2017 with the ambitious goal of 5,000 people in jobs over 5 years
• We have added capacity in GED services, Job Development and Outreach
• Our enterprise business, Second Chance Recycling & Manufacturing, has implemented new processes that have grown business by 35% and allowed us to acquire new contracts.
• A new youth violence prevention program, BUILD Leaders, was launched in partnership with the City of Minneapolis.
Impact on your field:
Winning the Bush Prize has definitely added a level of validation to our work. Internally we are well aware of the impact and importance of our programs, but this opportunity to have a recognized sector-leader like Bush hold our agency up as a model has been tremendously important to our work with partners. It has strengthened our recognition as a Social Enterprise leader, adding weight to our role in the Northwest Area Foundation’s Social Enterprise Leadership Cohort. It enhanced our fundraising for the successful build out and launch of the Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center. It has raised our profile with potential partners and area employers and lent validation to the rapid growth EMERGE has experienced over the last five years.
As one example, EMERGE was recently asked to send key staff to New Orleans to work with a sister-project to the North@Work Initiative. N@W focuses on connecting African American men to jobs, and mitigating the devastating impact of mass incarceration and inadequate public education on African American men living on the Northside. EMERGE staff traveled to New Orleans to share successes, best practices and practical learnings with a similar project.
Goals for Bush Prize funds:
A major goal when we applied for the Bush Prize was to be able to fully integrate and grow our Social Enterprise businesses. In 2015, EMERGE merged with Momentum Enterprises, dramatically increasing our Social Enterprise presence. We are extremely pleased to share substantial progress in this area.
• Second Chance Recycling has successfully competed in an open RFP with both for profit and nonprofit bidders to retain key recycling contracts while also bringing pricing in-line with business costs.
• Second Chance has added a new manufacturing contract with Solavore, a start-up business that sells solar ovens used in off-grid applications in the US and as a cooking solution in developing countries or disaster-affected regions where power infrastructure is lacking.
• EmergeWORKS staffing has opened new offices in St. Paul and is working closely with both EMERGE and new St. Paul partners to connect low-income communities to area employers.
• Nielsen Metalforming was acquired this year, and will become a new social enterprise that offers trainee jobs in manufacturing, coordinates with EMERGE manufacturing training programs, and provides metalforming services to local businesses.