EMERGE Career & Technology Center
EMERGE is running a $5.1 million capital campaign to develop the Emerge Career and Technology Center (ECTC) in North Minneapolis. The ECTC capital campaign revitalizes the original North Branch Library, a historic National Register facility open to the public from 1894 to 1977, and creates a technology-focused workforce development center that positions North Minneapolis residents for jobs and economic stability. With future jobs increasingly reliant on computer literacy skills, the ECTC expects to annually serve 1,000 North Minneapolis youth and adults, linking together computer skills training, career counseling, job readiness and placement services, financial services and STEM programming in a community where only 45% of its residents have access to computers in their home.
Construction will include all new mechanical, electrical, fire protection and security systems as well as window repair/replacement and installation of an elevator and a lift to create accessibility among the five building levels. The adjacent house to the south has been acquired to create space for a handicap-accessible entrance and parking spaces.
When fully operational in 2013, EMERGE will deploy nine staff and AmeriCorps/VISTA members (and the funding that supports these positions) at the ECTC to provide a one-stop shop of service opportunities that position residents for economic stability and wealth including:
- Advanced Computer Training - certification, systems, database, language and software training provided by either a training partner or with new ECTC training funds.
- Basic Computer Training – EMERGE will offer four 2-hour training modules each week addressing computer skills, e-mail skills, word processing skills and web-skills.
- Bridge to Benefits – 2 AmeriCorps members will provide public benefit eligibility screening and assistance in securing public benefits using the Bridge to Benefits screening tool.
- Career Assessment – an EMERGE Job Counselor will administer skill inventories and career assessments and provide counseling and referral to an EMERGE Training or Placement Program
- Customized Training – EMERGE’s City Skills Training Program will team with employers and training partners to implement 120-200 hour employer focused customized trainings.
- Financial Counseling – EMERGE’s Financial Counselor will assist people with budgeting, financial goal setting and decision making, improving credit ratings and administering FAIM/IDA accounts.
- Financial Literacy Seminars – EMERGE’s Financial Literacy Trainer will offer four weekly hours of Debt to Assets: Four Cornerstones to Financial Literacy seminars
- Job Readiness Classes – Four Job Readiness classes/workshops will be offered each week, addressing motivation and soft skills, resumes, interviewing and job search techniques.
- NEON Entrepreneurship Training – Via a partnership with the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON), this 16-week training helps residents create viable business plans.
- Open Access Lab – 24 open access computers are available to the general public during building hours with AmeriCorps members available to provide assistance
- STEM Programming – A 3 day/week after school youth program will be provided by either a training partner or with new ECTC program funds.
- Youth Career Training – EMERGE’s Youth Employment Program staff will facilitate weekly readiness/career workshops and provide career counseling, internship and part-time job placement assistance. The ECTC will also serve as a hub for summer employment programs.