Better Jobs. Better Lives. Better Community.


The Unity Opportunity Collaborative (UOC) is a unique partnership of five key Twin Cities community-based institutions working together to overcome the appalling economic disparities that African Americans and African immigrants face. Recognizing that existing programs and strategies don’t work for many of our neighbors, the Unity Opportunity Collaborative is committed to the development and deployment of new and innovative approaches to education and workforce development that will overcome the specific barriers to success with which many people of African descent are confronted.

UOC Partners

UOC is comprised of five agencies, including EMERGE, Minneapolis Urban LeagueSabathani Community CenterStairstep Foundation and Minneapolis Public Schools. Each of the partners in the Unity Opportunity Collaborative has a long history of commitment to the community, as well as significant experience delivering programs that help people succeed. EMERGE is the lead grant recipient on behalf of the partnership responsible for fiscal management and reporting on behalf of the collaborative. Minneapolis Public Schools Adult Basic Education program is offering customized GED preparation and other customized adult learning experiences. 

UOC Services

The UOC offers services at six different sites in north and south Minneapolis, including the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. The $4.25 million funds education and career training that will help prepare African Americans and Africans to achieve success in the work place and assist them as they transition into the workforce. To this end, UOC has identified six key components to a comprehensive plan with a two-year timeline, July 2016-June 2018. 

1.       GED Preparation

Working in partnership with Adult Basic Education through the Minneapolis Public Schools, GED preparation will be offered at EMERGE, the Minneapolis Urban League, and Sabathani Community Center. As of Oct. 13, 2017, 252 people were enrolled in GED services, and 12 have completed. This represents 50.4% of the goal of 500 enrollments by June 2018. 

2.       Employment Readiness Training

Participants will have the opportunity to increase their employability through readiness training that focuses on the skills and competencies needed to find and retain a good job. These services will be offered by EMERGE, the Minneapolis Urban League, and Sabathani Community Center. As of Oct. 13, 2017, 751 individuals were enrolled in Employment Readiness programming, which is close to the goal of 800 enrolled by June 2018. 

3.       Digital Readiness

UOC will help participants develop the digital skills required for today's job market, including Windows, Microsoft Word and e-mail. As of Oct. 13, 2017, 136 individuals completed Digital Readiness training, which is 68% of the goal of 200 completions by June 2018. 

4.       Career Credentialing

UOC will help participants prepare for a career by linking them to one of the many career training opportunities in the Twin Cities area, and then provide the support they need to be successful. In addition, UOC partners will offer their own career training in a number of exciting fields. As of Oct. 13, 2017, 218 individuals had completed Credential Training programs, which exceeds to goal of 150 served by June 2018. 

5.       Job Placement 

UOC will offer job placement services to help job seekers access the current job market and align them with the education, experience, and training needed to be successful in the work force. As of Oct. 13, 2017, 1100 individuals were enrolled in Employment Services, and 390 had been placed into jobs. We expect to exceed to goal of 400 placements by June 2018. 

6.       Transitional Employment

Recognizing that some individuals face significant barriers to work that would make it difficult to place them in traditional work settings, UOC will provide transitional employment opportunities to prepare for permanent positions. As of Oct. 13, 2017, 37 individuals completed transitional employment, exceeding the goal of 20 placements by June 2018. 

EMERGE Community Development  |  1834 Emerson Avenue North  |  Minneapolis, MN 55411

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