Young Men Commit to Change: EMERGE Celebrates the North 4 Banquet

On Friday, February 6th, EMERGE celebrated the achievements of the most recent group to complete the North 4 program.  North 4 is a work readiness program for African American young men in four high crime neighborhoods in North Minneapolis. Young men ages 16 – 21 participate in a 16 week program that includes a week of orientation, weekly group sessions, regular one-on-one meetings with program staff, and a 240 hour paid internship. To complete the program and to be recognized at the February 6th banquet, participants needed to meet an 80% rate of participation, throughout. The 65 people who attended the banquet created a standing-room-only crowd that included family members, partners, internship supervisors, and EMERGE staff.Several of the young men addressed the group themselves, sharing their experiences. According to one participant, Soldon, North 4 is the perfect program, “for someone who has been through a lot.” He recalled that he was forced to be a father figure at a young age for three young brothers. Continue Reading

EMERGE Career and Technology Center Grand Opening Success

Over 400 people celebrated the Grand Opening of the EMERGE Career and Technology Center (ECTC) on Thursday, January 22nd. Hands-on demonstrations in EMERGE training rooms were popular, and it was standing-room only for the 5 pm program. The ECTC is critical to EMERGE’s mission of helping people maximize their potential and launch careers. In addition to housing Leadership and Development teams, these are the activities and teams that will be housed in the ECTC:Computer literacy training will help close the ‘digital divide’ between people who are computer literate and those who are not. An open access computer lab on the lower level will allow community members to practice skills, search jobs online, create resumes, and otherwise use computers, particularly for purposes of seeking employment.Industry-specific workforce training will be delivered in training labs on the lower level, which will house EMERGE’s training department. EMERGE’s youth programs, focused on education and employment, will be housed on the upper floor. EMERGE is committed to providing quality, paid work experiences to youth who would otherwise not have employment opportunities.Designed to be a clearing house of partnerships, three key, initial partners will be onsite:Hennepin Technical College (HTC) will base an auxiliary campus in the center, with a manufacturing assessment lab in one of the three training rooms on the lower level.Minnesota Computers for the Schools will staff a new satellite site in the ECTC providing a variety of IT-related trainings for youth and adults.Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) will provide entrepreneurial workshops and trainings.A highlight of the evening was closing speech by Lydia Johnson, former EMERGE participant. Said Lydia, “Education and jobs can break the cycle. When one person makes it, other people start to believe. Continue Reading