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New Youth at Work Grants Help Young People Achieve Workplace Success

10/15/2019 10:00:00 AM

Deputy Commissioner Hamse Warfa

DEED has awarded $3,893,100 to 39 organizations to provide young people workforce development and training opportunities during the 2020-2021 state fiscal year. The Office of Youth Development awarded the Youth at Work grants to organizations providing services to economically disadvantaged or at-risk youth ages 14-24.

Helping young people achieve workplace success is not only important for the Youth at Work program participants themselves, but for the future of our state. Their success helps to ensure that the next generation of diverse workers is ready to fill job openings as baby boomers retire and new jobs are created.

As part of the competitive grant improvement process we rolled out earlier this year, the team of reviewers, who represented both DEED and community organizations, read and scored each proposal. In making its selection, DEED set out to allocate more funding across the state, include new service providers who target their services to individuals with multiple barriers to employment, and as part of the equity goal ensure services are available to serve communities of color and new immigrants.

Congratulations to the following organizations that have been awarded grants!

– Deputy Commissioner Hamse Warfa 

City of Minneapolis $800,000. The City of Minneapolis Step Up Program is a public-private partnership designed to provide under-represented Minneapolis youth ages 14-21 with a comprehensive array of employment and training services that focus on helping youth gain the skills to achieve life-long economic self-sufficiency. Funding directly pays for wages for students over SFY 2020-2021. The program will also support youth in earning high school credits for their Step Up training and internship experiences. Step Up provides Career Pathways in Healthcare, IT, Finance, Design and Construction related careers. Step Up aims to serve youth of color, youth with disabilities and from low income families. Local contact: Nina Robertson, nina.robertson@minneapolismn.gov

City of Saint Paul, $700,000. Right Track brings together the City of Saint Paul, Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS), non-profit, public and private partners to provide employment opportunities for youth of color and youth with other barriers to employment ages 14 to 21. Grant funds expand youth training opportunities in career pathways such as manufacturing and healthcare, all while youth earn a paycheck, learn about career pathways, and develop their own professional network. Local contact: Shaina Abraham, Shaina.Abraham@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, $200,000. Teen Teamworks provides quality programming to the economically disadvantaged "at risk" Minneapolis youth between the ages of 14 to 24. The project provides career pathways in STEM related fields. Helping youth acquire an appreciation for the connection between academic, social, judgment, and employment skills is the primary focus of the program. Local contact: Linda Tkaczik, ltkaczik@minneapolisparks.org

Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, $200,000. Teen Pathways, operating as satellite sites to the five main club sites, will serve youth ages 14-18 attending several Minneapolis/St. Paul high schools. Students have the opportunity to obtain certification in IT services and complete academic planning, intensive career exploration, service projects, practice health behaviors, learn leadership, and 21st Century Skill Building to put them on a path to high demand employment opportunities, thereby increasing the likelihood of personal success and long-term financial independence. Local contact: Lori Peterson Lpeterson@bgc-tc.org

BrookLynk, $75,000. The three pillars of BrookLynk's programming consist of 21st-Century skill-building, experiential employment opportunities, and local coordination/partnerships. BrookLynk facilitates training and paid employment opportunities where youth ages 14 to 21 learn essential job skills such as interviewing, networking, and professionalism. BrookLynk aims to create career pathways for underrepresented youth who face barriers to employment. Local Contact: Breanne Rothstein, Breanne.Rothstein@Brooklynpark.org

Pillsbury United Communities, $75,000. Ladders to Leadership is a comprehensive and integrated internship program that will provide underrepresented youth ages 14-18 (homeless, pregnant/parenting teens, ELL students) in Minneapolis with work experience, relevant skills and the social and business connections to build a foundation for career readiness. Local Contact: Adair Mosley, AdairM@pillsburyunited.org

Project for Pride Living, $75,000. The Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) Initiative goal is to bring together existing programs throughout Hennepin County to create a coordinated resource to serve disconnected, county-involved youth ages 14-24. This will create a coordinated resource that helps youth connect to holistic navigation and wraparound supports to achieve education and career goals. LEAP will provide Career Pathways in healthcare, IT, financial services education, and customer service. Local Contact: May Xiong, may.xiong@ppl-inc.org

Hennepin County, $75,000. The Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) program prevents dropouts among young people who have serious barriers to graduation and/or employment. The County partners with alternative high schools, post-secondary institutions, and community-based organizations that have high concentrations of youth ages 14-24 involved in county systems to align and coordinate youth services using the national JAG model. Providing career pathways in healthcare, IT, customer service and financial services education. Local Contact: Anne Kilzer, Anne.Kilzer@hennepin.us

East Side Neighborhood Services, $70,000. FutureConnect moves participants through four phases: 1. work readiness skill development; 2. Career Pathways exploration; 3. Advanced training; and 4. Paid work experiences. Trainings would be offered in Information Technology, Hospitality/Culinary, and Warehouse/Transportation, and Education. The project works with homeless youth, youth of color, and economically disadvantaged youth ages 14-24. Local Contact: Caryn Olsen, colsen@esns.org

Youthprise, $69,000. Opportunity Reboot addresses the economic challenges confronting homeless youth, disconnected youth, and youth in foster care and juvenile justice systems in Minnesota (ages 14-24). Opportunity Reboot mobilizes public and private resources to sustain and grow the work of organizations creating career pathways such as, healthcare, manufacturing, education, automotive and IT for at-risk youth populations. Local Contact: Marcus Pope, marcus@youthprise.org

Somali Community Resettlement Services, $64,100. The Credential to Career (C2C) Youth at Work project is designed to assist at-risk youth ages 14-24 from communities of color make informed decisions regarding future career plans and to aid them in entering their chosen careers. A comprehensive array of support services is provided by project staff in collaboration with local partners. Youth receive intensive, individualized services of career counseling, credential attainment, financial literacy training, and employment experience. Local Contact: Abdullah N. Hared, anhared@somalcrs.org

Northwest Indian Community Development Center, $60,000. NWICDC aims to increase equal access to livable wage jobs and post-secondary resources for American Indian youth ages 14-24. The project will provide a foundation of stabilization, training, and support for members. NWICDC's services increase successful completion of GED, increased educational functional levels, increase members' abilities to navigate career systems while gaining on the job skills that lead to post-secondary credentialing and employment into a variety of in-demand jobs. Local Contact: Tuleah Palmer, Tuleah.Palmer@nwicdc.org

Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council, $60,000. Southwest Minnesota Young Adult Career Pathways for Youth provides services to youth with disabilities, communities of color, economically disadvantaged youth and at-risk youth ages 14-24 residing in the 14 county rural area. The project provides a continuum of services including career awareness, exploration, and career pathway preparation and training. Participants can earn industry recognized credentials in nursing assistant, welding, electrical controls, and pharmacy technician fields. Local contact: Eriann Faris, efaris@swmnpic.org

Minnesota Valley Action Council, $60,000. Dream It. Believe It. Achieve It. provides youth (and parents) with education and training requirements for careers in high-growth and in-demand occupations. The project serves youth ages 16-24 from communities of color who are underrepresented in the workforce and youth with disabilities. Career Pathways provided to participants are in the healthcare, manufacturing, construction and STEM fields. Local Contact: Heather Gleason, hgleason@workforcecouncil.org

Evergreen Youth and Family Services, $60,000. The Evergreen Youth at Work Program helps youth from economically disadvantages backgrounds and youth with disabilities ages 14-24 overcome barriers to employment and education. Services provided to youth include support in completing course work, writing resumes, and prepare for interviews. Youth are referred from Youthbuild program and other partner programs. Local Contact: Kari Bloomquist, Kari.Bloomquist@evergreenyfs.org

Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, $60,000. Youth at Work provides support for at-risk youth and youth of color ages 14-24 in Local Workforce Development Area 5 (LWDA 5) to participate in work-based learning opportunities and/or short-term occupational credentialed training. Youth learn work-readiness skills under employer supervision while performing meaningful work for a public, private, or non-profit entity or will receive short-term credentialed training coupled with job placement assistance. Local contact: Diana Ristamaki, dristamaki@cmjts.org

Afro-American Development Association, $60,000. The project serves communities of new Americans and provides youth ages 14-24 with opportunities to build skills to access jobs and reduce dependency while contributing to regional economic growth and development. New American youth often face barriers to employment, financial challenges, education, training, and navigating public services. The project provides support in accessing and pursing education, career awareness/advancement and employment opportunities. Local Contact: Hukun Abdullahi, hukun@aadevassoc.org

Rural Minnesota CEP, $60,000. The project focuses on Career Pathways in Occupations in Demand and couples training with work-based learning. The primary goal is for participants to earn an industry recognized credential in one of the identified career pathways combined with training and a related work-based learning experience. Each youth participant in work-based learning is mentored for development of soft skills. Participants are ages 16-24 with priority of service given to at-risk youth from a community of color, a youth with a disability or a youth who meets the priority for enrollment into other programs managed by RMCEP. Local Contact: Vicki Leaderbrand, vickil@rmcep.com

Career Solutions, $60,000. Economically disadvantaged and at-risk youth ages 14-21 enrolled in this programming through Career Solutions will participate in career readiness training to help them gain personal development, workplace learning, readiness, and technical skills needed in high demand businesses and industries. The program is modeled after a Learn & Earn Framework that consists of career counseling, wraparound support services, individualized career plans, and connections to employers. Local contact: Ileana Merten, Ileana.Merten@csjobs.org

City of Duluth, $60,000. YES! Duluth uses a variety of tools to assess skills and interests to develop an Individual Service Strategy (ISS) that outlines training needs, work experience, and barriers to obtain and retain employment. Participants choose one of two career pathways opportunities in the hospitality and construction fields. Youth are connected to career-track employment and opportunities for further training and advancement. Participants in this program are youth ages 16-24 with priority of service given to at-risk, economically disadvantaged and in and out of school youth who are underrepresented in the workforce. Local Contact: Elena Foshay, efoshay@duluthmn.gov

Bridge For Youth, $60,000. The Work Ambassador program provides equitable access to resources and opportunities for homeless youth, youth from communities of color, and youth with a disability ages 14-24. This project provides targeted workforce development and training opportunities for homeless and at-risk youth that helps them develop the skills to find meaningful employment at a living wage. The program will also provide career pathways in STEM fields. Local Contact: Christina Woodlee, c.woodlee@bridgeforyouth.org

180 Degrees, $60,000. YoVoPro serves economically disadvantaged youth of color ages 14-24, in high school at current and new sites. Priority of services is given to homeless and sexually trafficked youth, youth involved in the juvenile justice system, and ex-felons ages 20-24. YoVoPro provides youth with information about apprenticeships, certifications and jobs with program participants. This program focuses on developing individual plans to explore careers and job interests and set goals to land employment. Local Contact: Janet Hallaway, Janet.Hallaway@180Degrees.org

HIRED, $60,000. The project provides youth who are in the Ramsey County juvenile justice system or are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds with access to pre-employment services that includes adult mentors, support services, academic supports, leadership development, financial health, paid work experiences, work readiness skill building, and guidance on credential obtainment. Local Contact: Kristina Iniguez, kristina.iniguez@hired.org

Ka Joog, $60,000. Ka Joog addresses economic disparities in the Somali community through a three-pronged approach that offers Somali youth ages 14-25 from low income households a continuum of support to break through barriers to employment. The primary components of this project include: dropout intervention and afterschool programming that exposes youth to higher education options and potential STEM career pathways. Local Contact: Mohamed Farah, mfarah@kajoog.org

YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, $50,000. The YMCA Career Pathways for Youth aims to serve youth ages 14-24 who face barriers to employment (low income, homelessness, parenting youth and in foster care). This program begins with job skills training and then participants move into 100-hour supervised internships based on their interests. During the internship youth are supported by a job coach and will work to create personalized Career Pathway Plans such as Nursing, Customer Service and Retail Sales. Youth also take part in professional development workshops addressing career and postsecondary options. Local contact: Nichol Higdon, nichol.higdon@ymcamn.org

Goodwill/Easter Seals, $50,000. Through the Next Generation @ Work Program, Goodwill/Easter creates opportunities for youth, ages 14-24, to explore their personal employment-related goals. G-ESM's goals are: engaging youth in career and college exploration and life-planning activities; providing paid, work-based learning at high-quality worksites; promoting mastery of work readiness competencies and 21st Century Skills; enrolling eligible youth in Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota's Industry Specific Employment Training programs for Automotive Services, Banking & Finance, Construction and Medical Office. Local contact: Sheila Olson, solson@goodwilleasterseals.org

Cookie Cart, $50,000. Cookie Cart Teen Employment and Training is a program of work experience and work readiness skills training designed to build employment, life and leadership skills needed for success in future employment. Based on a unique social enterprise model, neighborhood youth are actively involved in business operations within a nonprofit bakery. Cookie Cart serves youth ages 15-18 from communities of color and low income families, providing them with Certification and Digital Literacy opportunities. Local Contact: Matt Halley, mhalley@cookiecart.org

Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa, $50,000. Through Conservation Corps service-learning programs, underrepresented youth (refugees/immigrant, low income and youth of color), ages 14-18 build 21st century job skills and gain STEM related skills that qualify them for high school credit. They also receive college and career mentoring providing support and guidance in preparation for successful futures. Youth Outdoors engages teens in job training and service-learning projects in their own neighborhoods. Local Contact: Hollis Emery, hollis.emery@conservationcorps.org

Banyan Community, $50,000 The youth Pathways to Careers Program provides youth of color ages 14-24 with wraparound supports to help them graduate from high school or college and be prepared for meaningful employment in high-growth, in-demand occupations. Youth will also have the opportunity to participate in a work experience at Banyan Community. Local Contact: Joani Essenburg, joani@banyancommunity.org

achievempls, $50,000. The Career Readiness Initiative increases the capacity of the existing Career and College Centers infrastructure to provide new, additional, targeted career guidance, resources, and career exposure opportunities such as, Healthcare, STEM, IT and Manufacturing, giving students access to a much broader range of educational and career pathways. This program will serve youth of color, English Language Learners and youth in Special Education ages 14-18. Local Contact: Danielle Grant, dgrant@achievempls.org

Karen Organization of Minnesota, $50,000. Funding supports a partnership between the Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM), providing youth ages 14-24 services for refugees from Burma and other low-income populations, and Roseville Area Schools. In addition to ensuring that youth have access to the tools and information needed to make informed decisions about education and employment the program will also increase access to existing programs that can help achieve those goals. Local Contact: Alexis Walstad, Awalstad@mnkaren.org

MIGIZI Communications, $50,000. This project includes career pathways in two of the newest and fastest growing job categories in the Twin Cities region: Solar PV (photovoltaic) installation and Social Media marketing. These job categories will enable American Indian youth ages 14-24 from low income families and in and out of school youth to move from poverty to economic independence. Local Contact: Graham Hartley, ghartley@migizi.org

Anoka County Job Training Center, $50,000. The project serves youth ages 16-24 from communities of color, youth from the disability community in Anoka County. Focusing on empowerment and innovation through focused development of self-advocacy leadership skills and exposure to opportunities in healthcare and entrepreneurship (small business/innovation focused). Internship development expands with local employers identifying hiring needs and ACJTC matching students to interest and skill building work experience opportunities. Participants can earn a certification in Nursing and Microsoft Excel. Local Contact, Bridgett Backman, Bridgett.backman@co.anoka.mn.us

Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, $50,000. Cristo Rey Jesuit's Corporate Work Study Program serves high school youth of color ages 14-18 who face barriers to success. All students work five days per month in an entry level corporate job. Funding will help maximize career readiness by adding and directly teaching technical skills in the four year business curriculum. The skills the students learn will be utilized in their workplaces. Local Contact: Michelle Dillon, michelledillon@cristoreytc.org

MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership, Inc., $50,000. The project targets youth parents (ages 14-24) and their children to set them on a path towards self-sufficiency, supporting living wage employment and educational pathways, utilizing a two generational approach to move families out of poverty. Participants work with an employment coach who assists with barrier removal, career development, placement, and ongoing support. Career Pathways provided include, Early Childhood Development, IT, Family health clinic operations and Clerical support. Local Contact: Elizabeth Kuoppala, ikuoppala@mahube.org

African Community Services, $50,000. The project focuses on serving Somali young adults who have graduated from high school but have not found full-time employment or entered post-secondary education, young adults who dropped out of high school, or juvenile offenders with delinquency records. Participants are exposed to career pathways in in-demand fields including nursing, customer service, manufacturing, and education. Youth attend workshops and trainings that focus on communication skills, resume writing, job searching and interview techniques in order to provide them with career readiness skills. Local Contact: Hassan Omar, homar@africans.org

ISD 4, McGregor Public Schools, $50,000. This project serves American Indian youth, youth with disabilities, economically disadvantaged youth, and at-risk youth ages 16-19. Youth are required to complete a one-semester course during the school year. The course is Enterprise, How to Make Just About Anything, which will teach the process of bringing an idea to fruition for financial gain through practical experience in a technology-driven fabrication lab. Participants earn academic credit towards graduation for successful completion of the course. Participants will also be able to obtain basic credentials related to manufacturing, engineering, and creative technology. Local Contact: Cheryl Meld, cmeld@isd4.org

Elpis Enterprises, $30,000. The program supports homeless youth or those at-risk of homelessness. Youth ages 16-23 participate in paid work experiences that forms the framework for developing employment readiness skills. Upon program completion, youth demonstrate proficiency in at least 10 of 12 employment readiness skill areas. Participants achieve unsubsidized employment, continuation of their education, or an apprenticeship. Local Contact: Paul Ramsour, paul@elpisenterprises.org

Change Inc., $30,000. Funds supports a Career Counselor serving pre-Youthbuild students (ages 14-17) who are majority youth of color and/or immigrant youth. The Youthbuild program serves students ages 18-24 in three career pathways: construction, IT, and Health Care that lead to pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities. The Career Counselor helps youth identify their strengths and interests, form individualized career plans and assist in enrolling students in appropriate classes towards a goal of earning a credential. Local Contact: Jody Nelson, jnelson@gapschool.org

Please contact Kay Tracy, Director of Youth Services at 651-259-7555 or kay.tracy@state.mn.us >if you have any questions.

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