Non-Ranked Nonprofit Reviews: Local Workforce Development 2011

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The unemployment rate for the black population in the Minneapolis metropolitan area is three times that of the white population This is one of the highest in the U.S. (Economic Policy Institute).
The unemployment rate for the black population in the Minneapolis metropolitan area is three times that of the white population This is one of the highest in the U.S. (Economic Policy Institute).

This is the complete list of all non-ranked nonprofits reviewed by our experts. We do not have enough information at this time to recommend these organizations, but have provided you with the complete expert reviews to learn more.


The type of expert is indicated by one of the following colors:
F
Foundation Professionals
R
Researchers and Faculty
N
Nonprofit Senior Staff
O
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers)

Click on an organization to see what the experts say about its impact, strengths and areas for improvement.

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AccessAbility Incorporated (3 recommendations) Accessibility, Inc. provides jobs and training to individuals who face barriers to employment. They assist job-seekers to obtain employment in a variety of industry settings, and have found ways to assist unemployed individuals access immediate, paid employment.
AccessAbility Incorporated
Silver-small

http://www.accessability.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Accessibility, Inc. provides jobs and training to individuals who face barriers to employment. They assist job-seekers to obtain employment in a variety of industry settings, and have found ways to assist unemployed individuals access immediate, paid employment.
N
They provide valuable work experience to individuals who have disabilities.
F
They have high retention rates of workers placed- over 90% in 180 days.

Organizational Strengths

N
The strength of the organization is seen through their 60 years of service, diversity of programs and services to participants, creative business service strategies, job development know-how, expertise in the field of jobs and training, and their ability to maintain long-standing partnerships with like-minded organizations.
N
They have a strong leadership that is able to tie work experience to real world employment.
F
Their strengths are their staff and operations.

Areas for Improvement

N
Since the new economy requires different skills and places new expectations on its workers, institutions like Accessibility, Inc., with its programs need to be in a position to train those workers, hence have to adapt as well. With a change to such a model, Accessibility, Inc. would need to create a partner with a post-secondary institution to help link low-skilled workers to quality education-based, longer-term career paths.
F
They can improve on their marketing.
Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association of SE Minnesota (3 recommendations) Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association (IMAA) of Rochester is a community based organization that has highly impacted the refugee and immigrant community in the Rochester area through its employment services. That have been able to improve the economic conditions of these groups by finding and placing them in good paying jobs.
Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association of SE Minnesota

http://imaa.net/

Evidence of Impact

N
Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association (IMAA) of Rochester is a community based organization that has highly impacted the refugee and immigrant community in the Rochester area through its employment services. That have been able to improve the economic conditions of these groups by finding and placing them in good paying jobs.
N
This nonprofit has made an impact to refugees and immigrants, impact to the community, and is a leader in the community.
N
They partner with Workforce Development, Inc to assist individuals in Southeast Minnesota with issues surrounding jobs and training.

Organizational Strengths

N
The strength of the organization is its Executive Director and the Board of Directors, who are representatives of the community they serve and have come from the business sector.
N
The staff of this agency are top notch. The agency has solidified its finances by being the first building Olmsted County to "go green".
N
They have great leadership and vision. They are willing to try anything they can to assist their clients and partner with other agencies.
Neighborhood Development Center (3 recommendations) They are based on a collaborative model that works behind the scenes with culturally appropriate hosts. They provide the content and technical expertise and the culturally appropriate host provides the relationship based constituents who desire to explore whether or not they are interested/ready to start a business. They have trained many emerging entrepreneurs who have started businesses and remain in business. They have also helped many potential business entrepreneurs realize that starting a small business is the appropriate route for their own financial success.
Neighborhood Development Center

http://www.ndc-mn.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
They are based on a collaborative model that works behind the scenes with culturally appropriate hosts. They provide the content and technical expertise and the culturally appropriate host provides the relationship based constituents who desire to explore whether or not they are interested/ready to start a business. They have trained many emerging entrepreneurs who have started businesses and remain in business. They have also helped many potential business entrepreneurs realize that starting a small business is the appropriate route for their own financial success.
N
They are metro area leaders in empowering people in low-income neighborhoods to strengthen their existing businesses or create new jobs through entrepreneurship training and lending. They understand the importance of linking these efforts to the neighborhoods where they work so that a sense of ownership develops among community members.
N
They provide entrepreneurship training and micro-lending.

Organizational Strengths

F
They strive to be very culturally aware and they tailor their trainings and other services to match the trainee needs/culture/style.
N
They have an established leadership that understands the importance of encouraging job creation to strengthen workforce development efforts especially for low income neighborhoods.
N
Their strength is their operations and partnerships with inner city organizations as well as collaborative lending.

Areas for Improvement

F
Because they are ambitious, their reach may sometimes exceed their grasp. The need is great and they take on things that aren't always financially stable.
N
They can improve on their communications between neighborhood partners.
Rise (3 recommendations) Rise Incorporated provide strong employment services for persons with mental illness.
Rise
Silver-small

http://https://www.rise.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Rise Incorporated provide strong employment services for persons with mental illness.
N
They are successful in assisting individuals with disabilities to achieve employment outcomes.
N
They have a good program model.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their leadership is strong.
N
They are innovative in employment programs.
N
Their strength is their leadership.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can improve on collaboration.
Southwest Initiative Foundation (3 recommendations) Via micro-loans the foundation has played a significant role in starting new small businesses and supporting the infrastructure necessary to build in new directions such as renewable energy.
Southwest Initiative Foundation
Silver-small

http://www.swifoundation.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Via micro-loans the foundation has played a significant role in starting new small businesses and supporting the infrastructure necessary to build in new directions such as renewable energy.
O
This non-profit continues to work closely with all of the counties within it's area to improve the general economics of the region. Their addition of an economic development professional a few years ago had added this dimension to their program. This organization is always willing to step up to the plate when assistance is needed.

Organizational Strengths

O
The strengths of this organization are the staff and their commitment to the region. They are highly engaged in a common goal and work with other regional organizations to market and leverage resources.
O
Their leadership and staff are experienced and top-notch.
O
This organization brings a personal interest and are truly sincere and concern to about what they do. They have contributed dollars to promote the success of workforce development related projects.

Areas for Improvement

O
They can work on getting a stronger alignment with their leadership and leadership with other local, regional and statewide organizations. They can also work on the development of regional and cross-regional strategies that provide equal engagement for all partners.
O
They can increase their workforce development activities.
Enterprise Minnesota (2 recommendations) They provide worker training otherwise not available in the region.
Enterprise Minnesota

http://www.enterpriseminnesota.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They provide worker training otherwise not available in the region.
F
Enterprise Minnesota contracts with a neutral 3rd party to evaluate impact of training on the company/manufacturer using the following measures: sales increase, sales retained, cost savings, avoided investments, investments in information systems, investments in workforce or employment, and investments in other.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have excellent feedback from the business owners. Survey data shows employees that received the training have increased their pay and time on the job.
F
Their strengths are: 1) They are staffed by credible workforce development intermediaries, neutrality in brokering relationship between trainers and companies; 2) They are well-connected to the best trainers worldwide; and 3) They have a continuous improvement mentality/philosophy which guides their actions.
Latino Economic Development Center (2 recommendations) This organization was built from a strong base of entrepreneurship and business development with a social responsibility framework, developing a Latino OIC, the first of its kind in Minnesota. In implementing the program, LEDC expanded workforce prep and training opportunities at its member entrepreneurs/businesses locations to immediately place participants. The model can be replicated across the state as LEDC works in rural MN and small towns to grow local businesses. A strong youth workforce development component is also emerging.
Latino Economic Development Center

http://www.ledc-mn.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
This organization was built from a strong base of entrepreneurship and business development with a social responsibility framework, developing a Latino OIC, the first of its kind in Minnesota. In implementing the program, LEDC expanded workforce prep and training opportunities at its member entrepreneurs/businesses locations to immediately place participants. The model can be replicated across the state as LEDC works in rural MN and small towns to grow local businesses. A strong youth workforce development component is also emerging.
O
This non-profit concentrates its efforts in helping Latino adults, preparing them for jobs and helping them create small or family business.

Organizational Strengths

F
Their leadership (staff and board), marketing, and operations all are strong. They have cultural and language competency, and a strong community organizing capacity which is particularly important for new Americans/ immigrant communities. They provide staff development for new staff to acquaint them with local funders and to help them understand the nonprofit community. They are good at building relationships, building across communities, and have international links to new markets and risk taking.
O
Their leadership is very involve, they participate in rural areas, and fill the gap within ESL or Limited English Proficiency. They are a safe and familiar organization for the Latino community.

Areas for Improvement

F
They can improve on building out the funding base, and provide follow-up communication with funders as projects develop. A considerable amount of time and energy was spent to explore the HUB model for a new entrepreneur tech center. After a feasibility study on the proposed building and with the downturn in the economy, the Center proved to be too ambitious. There was a lack of follow-up to let interested folks know that planning was not to move forward. This lapse could have proven detrimental to the organization's reputation.
O
They are moving towards workforce development in trades that are non-traditional for Latinos, such as construction and maintenance, as well as professional advisers attorneys and accountants.
Metropolitan Economic Development Association (2 recommendations) This nonprofit provides assistance to small business development in ethnic minority communities. They also assist with small businesses on technical assistance and financing.
Metropolitan Economic Development Association

http://www.meda.net/

Evidence of Impact

N
This nonprofit provides assistance to small business development in ethnic minority communities. They also assist with small businesses on technical assistance and financing.
O
They work with diverse communities.

Organizational Strengths

N
Very strong leadership and staff.
O
Their strengths are their leadership, marketing and operations. They have accomplished and experienced professionals. In addition, they offer one-on-one business consulting, training, leadership development, government contracting assistance, access to financing, networking with peers, assistance with minority certifications, strategic planning, and more.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can improve on their collaborative efforts with other organizations.
O
They have dedicated to work more within Blacks-African Americans.
Minneapolis Urban League (2 recommendations) MUL is making a positive impact on the Northside community. The organization has numerous programs to address the diverse needs of the community where unemployment is higher than other parts of the metro area. Programs include adult basic education, welfare to work, youth and senior employment and re-entry from incarceration program.
Minneapolis Urban League
Silver-small

http://mul.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
MUL is making a positive impact on the Northside community. The organization has numerous programs to address the diverse needs of the community where unemployment is higher than other parts of the metro area. Programs include adult basic education, welfare to work, youth and senior employment and re-entry from incarceration program.
O
This organization has had a tremendous impact in the community. It has a great value proposition, and is perhaps one of the most respected nonprofits serving communities of color.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their current leadership has ensured that the right human resources are in place to administer specific programs. The Executive Board approves all major activities and financial expenditures.
O
Their strengths are their leadership, strong vision, mission and purpose, and strong commitment to communities of color.

Areas for Improvement

O
More reliable funding is necessary in order to ensure long term stability.
O
They have limited financial and other resources.
Minnesota Early Learning Foundation (2 recommendations) This is the critical area of learning, and MELF is definitely making a difference.
Minnesota Early Learning Foundation

http://www.melf.us/

Evidence of Impact

O
This is the critical area of learning, and MELF is definitely making a difference.
O
They have focused attention on the great importance of early childhood programming as the most effective guarantor of a strong workforce in the long term, and have developed a compelling model for achieving that.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have narrowed the emphasis and the results are evident. They have the business community behind them.
O
Their vision is their strength. That and a pragmatic sense of how to achieve it.

Areas for Improvement

O
They need to get more exposure.
O
They can concentrate more on out-state issues where their model will truly be tested.
Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace (2 recommendations) They directly prioritize and fund Green Jobs training and coordination.
Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace

http://www.mnrem.org/wiki

Evidence of Impact

O
They directly prioritize and fund Green Jobs training and coordination.
N
They have been supporting opportunities for job development in the renewable energy area.

Organizational Strengths

O
They utilize their industry driven Board to guide relevancy. They have sought federal grants to expand programming of direct workforce development.
N
They have good leadership and encompass about two-thirds of the south-west of MN. They collaborate with a broad cross section of entities working on renewable ventures.

Areas for Improvement

O
They can work on sustainability strategies for longer range goal attainment, and also work on evaluation of effects of investments.
N
They are not very visible.
Minnesota Valley Action Council (2 recommendations) The Minnesota Valley Action Council (MNVAC) has a broad number of partnerships and programs designed to teach skills to are job seekers among other things. They convene a regional workforce council that is made up of key stakeholders from around Greater Mankato and pilot or support a number of new programs including the overhaul of the Southern MN i-Seek portal.
Minnesota Valley Action Council
Silver-small

http://www.mnvac.org/mvac_main.php

Evidence of Impact

N
The Minnesota Valley Action Council (MNVAC) has a broad number of partnerships and programs designed to teach skills to are job seekers among other things. They convene a regional workforce council that is made up of key stakeholders from around Greater Mankato and pilot or support a number of new programs including the overhaul of the Southern MN i-Seek portal.
N
They consistently meets and exceeds performance measures, including providing individuals training that leads to a credential placement in jobs with wages that lead to self-sufficiency in demand occupations.

Organizational Strengths

N
Finances and staff are the biggest strengths of MVAC. They act as the fiscal agent for a number of workforce related grants and disseminate these funds to programs and organizations in the area. The staff are very good at what they do and responsive to any request for partnerships and collaboration.
N
They have a strong commitment to making services accessible in rural areas of Minnesota by having an office in every county of the region. They are a regional leader on the issues and needs of individuals in poverty.

Areas for Improvement

N
With everything MVAC does it's sometimes difficult to discern where its primary focus lies. MVAC needs to do a better job communicating to the community all that it does.
Options, Inc. (2 recommendations) They have strong business relationships and employment outcomes for persons with developmental disabilities.
Options, Inc.

http://www.options-inc.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They have strong business relationships and employment outcomes for persons with developmental disabilities.
N
All individuals within this organization, from the Board of Directors down, work to develop strong ties within the community, ensuring a strong and dynamic work opportunities.

Organizational Strengths

N
The BOD provides exceptional leadership to help develop and market Options as a strong resource in the community.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can eliminate simulated work programs and focus on procuring work for the few individuals that still participate in this program.
Otto Bremer Foundation (2 recommendations) The funding received through this foundation is used to implement projects that affect the employability of individuals in a positive fashion.
Otto Bremer Foundation

http://www.ottobremer.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
The funding received through this foundation is used to implement projects that affect the employability of individuals in a positive fashion.
O
The Otto Bremer Foundation has been responsive to clearly articulated needs of higher education institutions. Specifically, Northland Community and Technical College has been able to implement a successful nursing program on the White Earth Reservation as a result of investment from the Otto Bremer Foundation.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their strength would be its focus in benefiting communities and its simplicity- when one receives funding from them it allows one to focus on the project.
O
The OBF has a long history of significant investment in communities of rural Minnesota.
Productive Alternatives (2 recommendations) They provide meaningful working conditions for those with disabilities.
Productive Alternatives

http://www.paiff.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They provide meaningful working conditions for those with disabilities.
N
They offer a wide variety of human resource programming such as sheltered workshops for people who are not able to work in competitive employment. Their bus service provides transportation for people who may otherwise not be able to travel to and from their jobs and appointments. They also help provide manufacturing and marketing solutions to small businesses.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have several locations and take a regional approach. They provide employment for people who are otherwise likely unemployable.
N
They are willing to come to the table to find solutions for issues in our region.

Areas for Improvement

O
They can work more on providing training for people with disabilities to work in other areas (although I'm not so sure they don't!)
N
I think many people are unaware of the services they provide and of the extensive reach they have. Marketing could be done to inform people about this "best kept secret".
Project Fine (2 recommendations) They are helping over 40 Hmong families by providing support and education in agricultural and business knowledge so the Hmong farmers can improve their efficiency and allow for greater yields in their crops. In 2010 they were able to supplement their families food plus donate 700 pounds of food to the foodshelf.
Project Fine

Evidence of Impact

F
They are helping over 40 Hmong families by providing support and education in agricultural and business knowledge so the Hmong farmers can improve their efficiency and allow for greater yields in their crops. In 2010 they were able to supplement their families food plus donate 700 pounds of food to the foodshelf.
F
They work with low income, diverse population gap.

Organizational Strengths

F
They are collaborating with many partners on this project, which is making the project even stronger. They are well versed in communicating and working with immigrants.
F
They have a committed staff with connections.

Areas for Improvement

F
They need to make this project sustainable.
Southeastern Minnesota Private Industry Council (2 recommendations) This nonprofit provides career planning and assessment for unemployed workers and provides job placement assistance for area employers. They identify the "Hot Jobs" that should be the target of employment by workers and education programming by the colleges. They work with Adult Basic Education programs to tie them into the answer for a competitive workforce.
Southeastern Minnesota Private Industry Council

Evidence of Impact

N
This nonprofit provides career planning and assessment for unemployed workers and provides job placement assistance for area employers. They identify the "Hot Jobs" that should be the target of employment by workers and education programming by the colleges. They work with Adult Basic Education programs to tie them into the answer for a competitive workforce.
N
They consistently meets and exceeds performance measures resulting in individuals receiving credentials, being placed into employment and wages that leading to self-sufficiency in demand occupations in the region. They work closely with local employers to identify skills required of the workforce.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are a strong leader within the region, and is a recognized excellence across the state and nation in workforce development programming. They have 27 years of sound financial management. Their career counselors are required to complete the national Global Career Development Facilitation certification. They have a staff of six who make regular contact with businesses in the area to keep abreast of their needs and the future needs of their workforce. They have convened a consortium of workforce development professionals to work across state lines in Western Wisconsin and Northeast Iowa.
N
Their strong leadership brings together local partners in workforce, education, human services, community based organizations, labor, and economic development to align resources and address workforce issues of the region. They are a strong leader in developing partnerships with other regions in the state to address common workforce issues.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can work on having better communication with the general public on the outcomes and impacts being achieved. They can also work on developing stronger partnerships with economic development professionals across the region.
The Joyce Foundation (2 recommendations) They not only a focus on their local area but have expanded their influence to the Midwest. They were integral in being the FastTRAC initiative in MN- programs working with colleges, ABE, and Workforce to help adult learners move forward in their careers.
The Joyce Foundation
Bronze-small

http://www.joycefdn.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They not only a focus on their local area but have expanded their influence to the Midwest. They were integral in being the FastTRAC initiative in MN- programs working with colleges, ABE, and Workforce to help adult learners move forward in their careers.
O
The Joyce Foundation's Shifting Gears Initiative is their evidence of impact in the field of workforce development.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have an excellent vision, and excellent oversight of grantees.
O
Shifting Gears has brought about substantial policy changes to support collaborative, cross-system career pathway programming for low-skilled, low-wage adults in the Midwest. Major education and workforce development changes have occurred across MN, WI, and IL because of this multi-year, dedicated work. Joyce is committed to bringing technical assistance to their grantees at a scale I've never seen before.

Areas for Improvement

O
Joyce is hands on at a very high level. It would be interesting to have them be connected more to the local work but that's probably unrealistic given the number of projects they fund.
The Network for Better Futures (2 recommendations) They help convicted felons to find work. They also create community and are involved in for-profit enterprises. They have reduced return to jail rate, and are incredible.
The Network for Better Futures

http://www.networkforbetterfutures.com/

Evidence of Impact

N
They help convicted felons to find work. They also create community and are involved in for-profit enterprises. They have reduced return to jail rate, and are incredible.
F
They were successful with their pilot, which was funded by national foundations. They have a unique model for training and employment of ex-offenders with multiple barriers (e.g. history of drug/alcohol use, mental illness, educational barriers, etc.). Their intensive model of comprehensive services is proving successful and shows great promise.

Organizational Strengths

N
The exec is brilliant. They have high standards, and strong national development skills.
F
Their strength is their leadership and dedicated staff, who has skills to work with this population. They re-grouped when tactics failed to work---(e.g. supportive/transitional housing ownership by TN4BF).

Areas for Improvement

N
They can improve on their metrics and marketing.
F
Making this "profitable" and self-sustaining will take longer than projected. I think that it is difficult to move from national to local funding and difficult to build the right combination of donors and corporate foundation support that is necessary. The strong lead partners of NPOs starting the model (Turning Point, TCRISE, Summit Academy) are actually competitors for the same funding mix. With the current funding environment, this is a major challenge and there is no easy solution.
Tree Trust (2 recommendations) They serve youth in summer jobs in the Mpls/St Paul metro area.
Tree Trust
Silver-small

http://www.treetrust.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They serve youth in summer jobs in the Mpls/St Paul metro area.
O
They have a solid program for youth aged 14-15.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have a strong infrastructure and ability to quickly ramp up programs.
O
They run their core program very well.

Areas for Improvement

O
Tree Trust is one dimensional with work sites. It would benefit them to broaden and diversify by incorporating other areas of training and life skills.
O
Ideally, they would broaden services.
West Central Initiative (2 recommendations) They convene several groups of professionals in Minnesota Economic Development Region 4 with the goal of community vitality, economic development and forward progress to improve lives of those in our region. Their grantmaking capacity has allowed our region the opportunity to create and expand services to help with economic development and services to low income individuals. Their impact is deep and broad.
West Central Initiative
Silver-small

http://www.wcif.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They convene several groups of professionals in Minnesota Economic Development Region 4 with the goal of community vitality, economic development and forward progress to improve lives of those in our region. Their grantmaking capacity has allowed our region the opportunity to create and expand services to help with economic development and services to low income individuals. Their impact is deep and broad.
O
West Central Initiative has workforce development among its missions. I have worked with them time and again on projects and events that raise career awareness, provide resources to job seekers and students, and help get the disadvantaged connected to resources.

Organizational Strengths

N
WCI's Leadership is pivotal as it draws multiple organizations and businesses to the table to rally around a common cause. They bring information to our attention and fund projects to solve issues. They are a catalyst of change!
O
They cover the 9-county West Central Minnesota area so their reach is wide. They are sometimes seen as an entity that will fund start-up projects or fund the activities behind ideas that have broad support in a community.

Areas for Improvement

O
I think they are a strong institution. If I had one area of improvement, it might be that the number of initiatives they have going at any one time could stretch their resources a little thin. But it seems to work out well. They are seen as one of this region's valuable assets. Sometimes I wish they had additional funding that would fully financially support an effort for regional branding across borders (in this case with North Dakota), but in looking at that type of effort, you would need $150,000 to start such an effort and 4-5 years of financial support (until the effort is self-sustaining). There are often good ideas, but when people who bring ideas to the table are the same ones tabbed to carry out the idea, then good ideas can fizzle. West Central Initiative does its best to provide support.
World Relief Minnesota (2 recommendations) They work impacts new refugees. They provide Refugee Resettlement services during the first 90 days when new refugees are in the USA.
World Relief Minnesota
Silver-small

http://www.worldreliefmn.org

Evidence of Impact

N
They work impacts new refugees. They provide Refugee Resettlement services during the first 90 days when new refugees are in the USA.
N
They provide quality service about working in the United States to their clients, who are refugees. The provide one-on-one technical assistance and training to individuals to gain job skills and knowledge needed to secure sustainable employment.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their staff members care about their program participants and work hard to engage volunteers.
N
They have a strong leadership that works hard to build relationships and bridge gaps between the clients and the employers. They are always ready to listen and hear what the needs are in the community.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can improve on marketing.
N
They can continue to outreach to other employers and build greater capacity within the program.
AchieveMpls (1 recommendation) Achieve has a very popular and successful employment program. They take applications in the thousands for their summer youth program and have a great reputation with community.
AchieveMpls
Silver-small

http://www.achievempls.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Achieve has a very popular and successful employment program. They take applications in the thousands for their summer youth program and have a great reputation with community.

Organizational Strengths

N
Achieve has clear partners, solid training and a high level of community engagement.

Areas for Improvement

N
Their training can be improved.
Admission Possible (1 recommendation) A.P. does a remarkable job of taking average to slightly underperforming inner city high school students and preparing them for college by teaching them how to more successfully take standardized college entrance tests, acquainting them with local colleges and universities through site visits, and giving them the encouragement they often need to stay engaged and motivated. These are students who, in the past, typically avoided college.
Admission Possible
Silver-small

http://www.admissionpossible.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
A.P. does a remarkable job of taking average to slightly underperforming inner city high school students and preparing them for college by teaching them how to more successfully take standardized college entrance tests, acquainting them with local colleges and universities through site visits, and giving them the encouragement they often need to stay engaged and motivated. These are students who, in the past, typically avoided college.

Organizational Strengths

F
Again, very strong management, clear articulation of mission and goals to all, and excellent financial controls in place.
Aeon (1 recommendation) Aeon has made a noticeable impact in low income housing and has visibly improved inner city neighborhoods that were blighted for decades. Aeon's connection to workforce development is its strong commitment to building low income housing in the suburbs, closer to job markets that many people could not otherwise reach.
Aeon
Silver-small

http://www.aeonmn.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Aeon has made a noticeable impact in low income housing and has visibly improved inner city neighborhoods that were blighted for decades. Aeon's connection to workforce development is its strong commitment to building low income housing in the suburbs, closer to job markets that many people could not otherwise reach.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a strong leadership, and strong fundraising program.
Affirmative Options Coalition (1 recommendation) Affirmative Options Coalition is an advocacy organization that works on behalf of unemployed poor people and particularly those on public assistance (MFIP). This organization's director, Deborah Schlick, has been a thoughtful, firm, well informed voice on behalf of unemployed people. Without her tireless efforts workforce development organizations would not have an organized voice at the legislature. We can not always run programs and at the same time maintain policy work; the partnership with this organization covers all the bases in workforce development.
Affirmative Options Coalition

http://www.affirmativeoptions.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Affirmative Options Coalition is an advocacy organization that works on behalf of unemployed poor people and particularly those on public assistance (MFIP). This organization's director, Deborah Schlick, has been a thoughtful, firm, well informed voice on behalf of unemployed people. Without her tireless efforts workforce development organizations would not have an organized voice at the legislature. We can not always run programs and at the same time maintain policy work; the partnership with this organization covers all the bases in workforce development.

Organizational Strengths

N
The excellent leadership of this organization is its major strength.
African Community Services in MN (1 recommendation) They help a high number of African immigrants find permanent employment.
African Community Services in MN

http://www.africancs.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They help a high number of African immigrants find permanent employment.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a very capable creative staff who have worked for the agency for an average of over 5 years. They have a social services component that complements the employment services component. They also have a culturally competent approach that is used to help new immigrants understand the world of work in this country.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can add some operations staff who can focus on this aspect of the organization rather than have staff with a different primary focus do the work. They can also work on developing a fundraising plan.
African and American Friendship Association for Cooperation and Development (1 recommendation) They are able to help recent immigrants that were in professional fields in their former homeland to get certification to do similar jobs in the United States. They are one of the few organizations working on this important issue.
African and American Friendship Association for Cooperation and Development

http://www.razoo.com/story/African-And-American-Friendship-Association-For-Cooperation-And

Evidence of Impact

F
They are able to help recent immigrants that were in professional fields in their former homeland to get certification to do similar jobs in the United States. They are one of the few organizations working on this important issue.

Organizational Strengths

F
They have a strong staff and strong grassroots leadership.

Areas for Improvement

F
They need to strengthen their capacity.
AgStar Fund for Rural Minnesota (1 recommendation) They have been instrumental in convening and raising the awareness of the importance of regional competitiveness within the rural region. They have made investments in promoting the rural community and quality of life within the communities. They were recently awarded funds to assist low income workers to obtain targeted career training within the healthcare industry to improve the quality of worker and thereby the quality of care in rural long-term care facilities.
AgStar Fund for Rural Minnesota

Evidence of Impact

N
They have been instrumental in convening and raising the awareness of the importance of regional competitiveness within the rural region. They have made investments in promoting the rural community and quality of life within the communities. They were recently awarded funds to assist low income workers to obtain targeted career training within the healthcare industry to improve the quality of worker and thereby the quality of care in rural long-term care facilities.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a strong leadership who has skills at convening decision makers within both for-profit and non-profit organizations. They are in a strong financial position, and are interested in preserving the quality of life in rural Minnesota.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can improve on their communication about process for awards and availability of programs.
Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (1 recommendation) This organization has invested time and resources into several start-up and small businesses that have resulted in new business growth and opportunities for Minnesota's agriculture industry.
Agricultural Utilization Research Institute

http://www.auri.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
This organization has invested time and resources into several start-up and small businesses that have resulted in new business growth and opportunities for Minnesota's agriculture industry.

Organizational Strengths

O
The operations of and research that this organization provides is the greatest impact for individuals and businesses to develop new opportunities to grow and expand their workforce in Minnesota.

Areas for Improvement

O
They can develop a stronger alignment and collaborate with other like-minded organizations to support common goals in developing Minnesota's workforce and industries in agriculture.
American Indian OIC (1 recommendation) They have high placement rates for graduates.
American Indian OIC

http://www.aioic.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They have high placement rates for graduates.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can improve on their external leadership -- they can participate in a more intensive way in initiatives which shape the opportunities for their graduates, such as the MnDOT collaborative. They can resurrect the recruiting/training partnership which had existed with SAOIC, Summit Academy.
Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (1 recommendation) They have a good mix of age specific programs as well as economic class.
Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency

http://www.aeoa.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They have a good mix of age specific programs as well as economic class.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their leadership truly has the best interests of the region at the heart of all they do.

Areas for Improvement

O
Again, sustainability. They depend too much on public funding.
Association for Persons in Supported Employment (1 recommendation) They promote best practices in employment services.
Association for Persons in Supported Employment

http://www.apse.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They promote best practices in employment services.

Organizational Strengths

N
They provide leadership in legislative actions and concept papers.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can work on having a broader membership and voice.
Bolder Options (1 recommendation) Seeing a need for increased mentorship in the Rochester area, Bolder Options opened an affiliate in Rochester. Bolder Options is an activity-based mentoring program for 10-14 year old youth. Children are referred by a professional in the community and are generally first-time probation offenders, truant, or having behavior problems in school. The Rochester organization is matching each child with an adult mentor for one year. During the course of the year, mentor and child participate in a running program and set goals related to physical activity, community service, healthy choices and academics. Each match is assigned to a program coordinator for support and has the opportunity to attend many activities designed to assist with meeting their goals.
Bolder Options

http://www.bolderoptions.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Seeing a need for increased mentorship in the Rochester area, Bolder Options opened an affiliate in Rochester. Bolder Options is an activity-based mentoring program for 10-14 year old youth. Children are referred by a professional in the community and are generally first-time probation offenders, truant, or having behavior problems in school. The Rochester organization is matching each child with an adult mentor for one year. During the course of the year, mentor and child participate in a running program and set goals related to physical activity, community service, healthy choices and academics. Each match is assigned to a program coordinator for support and has the opportunity to attend many activities designed to assist with meeting their goals.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a strong leadership, and strong community engagement and outreach.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can increase their capacity and resources to meet community needs.
Boys & Girls Club of Rochester (1 recommendation) The Club continues to show real impact in educational attainment for over 1000 kids it serves. Over 62% of the kids shared that they were more committed to their education, which is an even higher rate for African-American and Latino students (72-73%). Over 45% stated the club helped them graduate from high school - again, even higher for Latino and African-American members (48-59%).
Boys & Girls Club of Rochester
Bronze-small

http://www.bgclubroch.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Club continues to show real impact in educational attainment for over 1000 kids it serves. Over 62% of the kids shared that they were more committed to their education, which is an even higher rate for African-American and Latino students (72-73%). Over 45% stated the club helped them graduate from high school - again, even higher for Latino and African-American members (48-59%).

Organizational Strengths

N
This club has an exceptional staff that ensures a sustainable, consistent and safe environment for some of our most at-risk youth. They literally save lives and ensure a competitive workforce through robust character leadership development, education and career development and health and life skills. Their leaders are truly engaged in complex community issues that affect the youth they serve (ex: Workforce 2020, Community Gang Initiative).

Areas for Improvement

N
They can increase their capacity and resources to serve more youth.
CAPI (1 recommendation) Based on focus groups and interviews with CAPI staff for a report I wrote for the Council on Asian Pacific Mn on economic vitality of Asians, I can say CAPI has been a leader in immigrant services. You can learn more about what we mean by the CAPI model, for example how CAPI was able to place inner city job seekers out in companies in Chanhassen/Chaska area at livable wages.
CAPI

http://www.capiusa.org/

Evidence of Impact

R
Based on focus groups and interviews with CAPI staff for a report I wrote for the Council on Asian Pacific Mn on economic vitality of Asians, I can say CAPI has been a leader in immigrant services. You can learn more about what we mean by the CAPI model, for example how CAPI was able to place inner city job seekers out in companies in Chanhassen/Chaska area at livable wages.

Organizational Strengths

R
Their strength is their staff.

Areas for Improvement

R
They have too much staff turnover in the last few years.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona (1 recommendation) Concern and Credibility - they are always available to help people with their challenges
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona
Bronze-small

http://www.ccwinona.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Concern and Credibility - they are always available to help people with their challenges
Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (1 recommendation) IATP have the ability to connect current issues to local advocacy. They support new enterprises and initiatives especially to underserved populations in the metro area and in rural communities.
Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy
Silver-small

http://www.iatp.org/CEED/

Evidence of Impact

N
IATP have the ability to connect current issues to local advocacy. They support new enterprises and initiatives especially to underserved populations in the metro area and in rural communities.

Organizational Strengths

N
IATP has a strong leadership on a global scale. They have the ability to be forward thinking and they develop initiatives to help people and groups advance. They are well connected and able to get resources at significant levels.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can become more implementation orientated.
City South Cluster Ministries (1 recommendation) This organization works with Latino people who are looking for work.
City South Cluster Ministries

Evidence of Impact

N
This organization works with Latino people who are looking for work.

Organizational Strengths

N
The leadership team helps their participants prepare for the workplace by assisting in writing resumes and providing short term training.
Community Action Partnership (1 recommendation) WCMCA (and the other 3 community action agencies that serve west central Minnesota) provide and track utilization of supportive services that are vital to workforce development, including: 1) utilization of free tax preparation services that result in increased EITC uptake. This means that people who are starting employment on the lowers rungs of a career ladder, who are likely to receive inadequate pay to support a family, nevertheless because of EITC can stay with that job long enough to receive additional training and advance in their career; 2) uptake and the number of people served as part of the FAIM/IDA matched savings account program - individuals save money that they can choose to use to pay for education (workforce development), start a business or purchase a home; 3) number of individuals accessing loans for down payment assistance to purchase fuel efficient, affordable vehicles to travel to work and attend school.
Community Action Partnership

http://www.wcmca.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
WCMCA (and the other 3 community action agencies that serve west central Minnesota) provide and track utilization of supportive services that are vital to workforce development, including: 1) utilization of free tax preparation services that result in increased EITC uptake. This means that people who are starting employment on the lowers rungs of a career ladder, who are likely to receive inadequate pay to support a family, nevertheless because of EITC can stay with that job long enough to receive additional training and advance in their career; 2) uptake and the number of people served as part of the FAIM/IDA matched savings account program - individuals save money that they can choose to use to pay for education (workforce development), start a business or purchase a home; 3) number of individuals accessing loans for down payment assistance to purchase fuel efficient, affordable vehicles to travel to work and attend school.

Organizational Strengths

F
Their community action program is community-based and wrap supportive services around families - no more silos. They are extremely well-led, persistent, and resilient.
Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (1 recommendation) CLUES supports the development and even health of many low income Latinos. Many of their programs have a great impact in the Latino community.
Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio

http://www.clues.org/home.aspx

Evidence of Impact

O
CLUES supports the development and even health of many low income Latinos. Many of their programs have a great impact in the Latino community.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have several locations in the Twin cities.

Areas for Improvement

O
They can improve on their communications and partnership with other organizations.
Conservation Corps Minnesota (1 recommendation) They provide training specifically to youth [18-24 or so] around conservation issues such as forest and prairie management, forest harvest techniques, building base structures, prairie burns, safety issues, conservation management. In MN they have funding to train a significant number of people, and it is a well developed program. Training is in the field and across the state.
Conservation Corps Minnesota
Silver-small

http://www.conservationcorps.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They provide training specifically to youth [18-24 or so] around conservation issues such as forest and prairie management, forest harvest techniques, building base structures, prairie burns, safety issues, conservation management. In MN they have funding to train a significant number of people, and it is a well developed program. Training is in the field and across the state.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are well managed. Their training is planned and taught by well qualified staff. This group works with other groups, such as soil and Water Conservation Districts, to distribute the workforce. Although it is somewhat a niche, it has broad applications across the state.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can try to apply these methods to the agriculture sector.
Construction Careers Foundation (1 recommendation) Construction Careers Foundation (UnderConstruction) has made a positive impact on high school students by educating and exposing 11th and 12th graders to the jobs in the building construction industry.
Construction Careers Foundation

Evidence of Impact

O
Construction Careers Foundation (UnderConstruction) has made a positive impact on high school students by educating and exposing 11th and 12th graders to the jobs in the building construction industry.

Organizational Strengths

O
The program is run by individual educators that are also knowledgeable about the construction industry.

Areas for Improvement

O
This program consistently exceed the stated goals. With more resources this organization could have a greater impact on it's target market.
Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (1 recommendation) CSW is very good at helping state policy leaders find bi-partisan solutions.
Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
Silver-small

http://www.skilledwork.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
CSW is very good at helping state policy leaders find bi-partisan solutions.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their staff have diverse experiences in workforce development and are very skilled in suggesting practical solutions.
Diversity Council (1 recommendation) Together with Mayo Clinic and Rochester Public Library, Diversity Council presented the nationally touring exhibit “RACE: Are We So Different?” The Diversity Council recruited, trained and managed 177 volunteer facilitators who led follow-up discussion groups for 6,750 students and 900 adults who toured the exhibit. They partnered with Rochester Public Schools in the Smart Kids program to train parents in the Efficacy Institute’s principles of learning so that ALL children can succeed in school, reaching 591 families in 2010. They engaged 13,250 students in the 2009-10 school year with our nationally recognized Spark! workshops, teaching children and youth to appreciate differences and stand up to prejudice and discrimination.
Diversity Council
Silver-small

http://www.diversitycouncil.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Together with Mayo Clinic and Rochester Public Library, Diversity Council presented the nationally touring exhibit “RACE: Are We So Different?” The Diversity Council recruited, trained and managed 177 volunteer facilitators who led follow-up discussion groups for 6,750 students and 900 adults who toured the exhibit. They partnered with Rochester Public Schools in the Smart Kids program to train parents in the Efficacy Institute’s principles of learning so that ALL children can succeed in school, reaching 591 families in 2010. They engaged 13,250 students in the 2009-10 school year with our nationally recognized Spark! workshops, teaching children and youth to appreciate differences and stand up to prejudice and discrimination.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have an incredibly dedicated and engaged staff. Their use of social media and cutting-edge communication resources in order to educate and build awareness is another strength.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can increase their capacity and resources to broaden and deepen reach.
Douglas County Developmental Achievement Center (1 recommendation) Douglas County DAC works with the local community to not only bring living skills to its clients but also ties the community with the community employment for consumers and has the client develop job skills to the clients with sorting, displaying, selling and producing items for the outlets.
Douglas County Developmental Achievement Center

Evidence of Impact

O
Douglas County DAC works with the local community to not only bring living skills to its clients but also ties the community with the community employment for consumers and has the client develop job skills to the clients with sorting, displaying, selling and producing items for the outlets.

Organizational Strengths

O
This area has unlimited interaction with growing businesses during hard economic times and the organization brings workforce skills to clients who would have had difficulty acquiring on their own without this service. The leaders of this area and organization bring opportunities to the clients of that are needed for them to bring more skills to the local employers.

Areas for Improvement

O
The wages for staff that works directly with the staff doesn’t match the impact that they provide for them both with the services and responsibilities. If the budget was increased for the organization, the wages could be increased.
East Central Minnesota Workforce Partnership (1 recommendation) The ECMnWP has created a large number of workforce development efforts in their region in their 15 years of existence, including regional School-to-work projects, competency-based diplomas, and conferences for regional employers on significant workforce development issues.
East Central Minnesota Workforce Partnership

Evidence of Impact

O
The ECMnWP has created a large number of workforce development efforts in their region in their 15 years of existence, including regional School-to-work projects, competency-based diplomas, and conferences for regional employers on significant workforce development issues.

Organizational Strengths

O
Volunteerism is their metier. They have a very strong and loyal core of participating partners.

Areas for Improvement

O
Funding is their Achilles heel. They lack a development plan.
Ecumen (1 recommendation) They are a very well run "cutting edge" company who is ahead of the curve in meeting the needs of our seniors today.
Ecumen

http://www.ecumen.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They are a very well run "cutting edge" company who is ahead of the curve in meeting the needs of our seniors today.

Organizational Strengths

O
They are technology driven, and their total emphasis is on the customer (resident).

Areas for Improvement

O
They can consider different locations for their entities.
Employer Solutions Inc (1 recommendation) They have a strong ability to meet employer demand by providing targeted training to potential employees to strengthen the match.
Employer Solutions Inc

http://www.eesipeo.com/

Evidence of Impact

F
They have a strong ability to meet employer demand by providing targeted training to potential employees to strengthen the match.

Organizational Strengths

F
They have a strong leadership, marketing and implementation skills.

Areas for Improvement

F
They can improve on fundraising, because they are having serious trouble fund-raising to maintain the organization.
Experience Works (1 recommendation) They have a very strong leadership and willingness to partner. They go over and above to serve individuals 55 and over in jobs and training situations.
Experience Works
Silver-small

http://www.experienceworks.org/site/PageServer

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a very strong leadership and willingness to partner. They go over and above to serve individuals 55 and over in jobs and training situations.
Fergus Falls 544 Education Foundation (1 recommendation) This organization has given thousands of dollars to the Fergus Falls high school to boost student learning. In particular, they have funded "unfunded" teaching methods and instruments used in the technology program. For instance, the Foundation has purchased new welding helmets (the need for welders in manufacturing in this region is huge) that automatically turn off and on, rather than the old style. By using technology, teachers then can make manufacturing careers more attractive. The Foundation also funded various manufacturing/STEM awareness efforts such as the University of Minnesota Physics Circus, field trips and career awareness events.
Fergus Falls 544 Education Foundation

http://www.544foundation.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
This organization has given thousands of dollars to the Fergus Falls high school to boost student learning. In particular, they have funded "unfunded" teaching methods and instruments used in the technology program. For instance, the Foundation has purchased new welding helmets (the need for welders in manufacturing in this region is huge) that automatically turn off and on, rather than the old style. By using technology, teachers then can make manufacturing careers more attractive. The Foundation also funded various manufacturing/STEM awareness efforts such as the University of Minnesota Physics Circus, field trips and career awareness events.

Organizational Strengths

O
I believe one of the strengths of the 544 Foundation is that its non-profit status allows its board to accept and award grant monies basic on teacher needs and testimonials. Its mission is to help the students, so by providing that extra support both financially and sometimes in volunteer efforts, the Foundation helps connect students with careers in the area.

Areas for Improvement

O
At some point, if the endowment of this Foundation were to reach $1 million, then all operations could be funded by interest income, leaving 100% of the funds donated by 500+ contributors to support school activities. The Foundation could also strengthen its ties to the region with a larger endowment.
Fresh Energy (1 recommendation) This organization is well developed and has the ability to influence personal and business choices around a broad range of renewable energy issues and policies.
Fresh Energy
Silver-small

http://www.fresh-energy.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
This organization is well developed and has the ability to influence personal and business choices around a broad range of renewable energy issues and policies.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a very savvy business management and are into tech applications for disseminating initiatives and messaging around renewable energy issues. They also have an excellent staff and network of collaborators.
Greater Mankato Diversity Council (1 recommendation) The Greater Mankato Diversity Council currently use volunteers from across the community to teach a Diversity curriculum to more than 10,000 area students annually in the K-12 schools. This creates a significant impact on the students in our area and on the communities' awareness of diversity issues and relations between different groups that make up the workforce in our community. In addition they are piloting a cooperative program to encourage STEM careers with girls from 7 - 10 grades. They also do diversity trainings for companies and executive level teams in the area to speak to our community's issues with respect to diversity and how to better manage a diverse workforce.
Greater Mankato Diversity Council

http://www.mankatodiversity.com/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Greater Mankato Diversity Council currently use volunteers from across the community to teach a Diversity curriculum to more than 10,000 area students annually in the K-12 schools. This creates a significant impact on the students in our area and on the communities' awareness of diversity issues and relations between different groups that make up the workforce in our community. In addition they are piloting a cooperative program to encourage STEM careers with girls from 7 - 10 grades. They also do diversity trainings for companies and executive level teams in the area to speak to our community's issues with respect to diversity and how to better manage a diverse workforce.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their staff and passionate volunteers are a big strength of this organization. The Education Director in particular is extremely organized, responsive, and professional and does a fantastic job. The workshops that the organization creates for members of the business community are also engaging, thought provoking and interactive.

Areas for Improvement

N
The Greater Mankato Diversity Council is in serious need of dedicated funding streams to expand its capacity. They currently get numerous requests from our region for workshops and other events that they cannot accommodate due to resources and lack of staff. The Diversity Council also at times is not as responsive to request from organizations due to some staff being only part time.
HIRE Minnesota (1 recommendation) The organization (HIRE Minnesota) focuses on jobs development, pushing for jobs that can be filled by people traditionally excluded from well-paying employment. This is an important piece of the puzzle. Training and education don't do the trick if there aren't jobs.
HIRE Minnesota

http://www.hiremn.org/Home.html

Evidence of Impact

R
The organization (HIRE Minnesota) focuses on jobs development, pushing for jobs that can be filled by people traditionally excluded from well-paying employment. This is an important piece of the puzzle. Training and education don't do the trick if there aren't jobs.
Initiative Foundation (1 recommendation) The IF has driven workforce planning and development through their funding priorities and by acting as a convener of consortia aimed at the same goal. The front they attack is broad and includes funding for technology-based businesses creating high-wage jobs in the region as well as the financial bootstraps for the start up of a large number of early childhood coalitions.
Initiative Foundation

http://www.ifound.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
The IF has driven workforce planning and development through their funding priorities and by acting as a convener of consortia aimed at the same goal. The front they attack is broad and includes funding for technology-based businesses creating high-wage jobs in the region as well as the financial bootstraps for the start up of a large number of early childhood coalitions.

Organizational Strengths

O
The leadership is steady and foresightful, and their communications program is second to none.
International Institute of Minnesota (1 recommendation) This organization offers a very high quality medical career program for new immigrants. It is customized to their needs and follows as they progress in their careers. IIM's Certified Nursing Assistant program in particular achieves strong graduation, placement and job retention rates.
International Institute of Minnesota

http://www.iimn.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
This organization offers a very high quality medical career program for new immigrants. It is customized to their needs and follows as they progress in their careers. IIM's Certified Nursing Assistant program in particular achieves strong graduation, placement and job retention rates.

Organizational Strengths

F
IIM has strong leadership capacity and expertise. The staff who heads up its medical career program are both good managers and experts in the healthcare industry. The program also has strong employer connections based on its long history.

Areas for Improvement

F
IIM's financial situation is precarious. It needs to build a more diverse revenue base. Also, the organization has developed its medical training programs as alternatives to the "mainstream" options available at community colleges and through adult basic education. They need to learn how to partner with these systems better so their work can be more sustainable and so their wisdom can help the rest of the adult education world serve new immigrants better.
Jeremiah Program (1 recommendation) Jeremiah does a remarkable job of taking single mothers and moving them into a safe housing environment, giving access to (and insisting on attendance at) local GED post secondary schools and moving them into full time jobs within a network of local large employers. This is a similar program as Twin Cities Rise! but with a housing component attached.
Jeremiah Program
Silver-small

http://www.jeremiahprogram.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
Jeremiah does a remarkable job of taking single mothers and moving them into a safe housing environment, giving access to (and insisting on attendance at) local GED post secondary schools and moving them into full time jobs within a network of local large employers. This is a similar program as Twin Cities Rise! but with a housing component attached.

Organizational Strengths

F
They have a very strong management and clear articulation of mission and goals to participants, donors and partners.
La Oportunidad Inc. (1 recommendation) La Oportunidad helps many youth to find their voice, develop leadership and provides support so that the youth will stay out of trouble.
La Oportunidad Inc.

http://oportunidad.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
La Oportunidad helps many youth to find their voice, develop leadership and provides support so that the youth will stay out of trouble.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their strength is their leadership and operations.

Areas for Improvement

O
They need to partner more with organizations and budget for operations.
Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership (1 recommendation) Lakes and Prairies helps low income individuals by offering programs and educational opportunities that will improve their earning capacity and help them make informed economic decisions. They are active in a leadership role as change agents and advocates for low income individuals in Minnesota.
Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership

http://www.lakesandprairies.net/

Evidence of Impact

N
Lakes and Prairies helps low income individuals by offering programs and educational opportunities that will improve their earning capacity and help them make informed economic decisions. They are active in a leadership role as change agents and advocates for low income individuals in Minnesota.

Organizational Strengths

N
They partner with other agencies to strengthen our impact for low income individuals in our region and in Minnesota.
Lao Family Community of Minnesota (1 recommendation) Their impact is their language.
Lao Family Community of Minnesota
Silver-small

http://www.laofamily.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their impact is their language.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have strong experience.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can do better at working as a group.
Life-Work Planning Center (1 recommendation) They provide comprehensive services for displaced homemakers that results in women identifying their career path and employment that leads to self-sufficiency.
Life-Work Planning Center

http://www.lwpc.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They provide comprehensive services for displaced homemakers that results in women identifying their career path and employment that leads to self-sufficiency.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are a strong regional leader and voice on women's issues.
Lifeworks (1 recommendation) This organization has made an impact influencing employers to consider employing developmentally disabled workers.
Lifeworks

http://www.lifeworks.org/lifeworks/default.asp

Evidence of Impact

F
This organization has made an impact influencing employers to consider employing developmentally disabled workers.

Organizational Strengths

F
Their strengths are their leadership, staff, marketing, operations and finances.

Areas for Improvement

F
They can improve on their marketing - their message and mission can be a tough sell.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (1 recommendation) They provide financial literacy to low-income populations.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
Silver-small

http://www.lssmn.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They provide financial literacy to low-income populations.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength is their referral of workforce development clients to financial literacy programming.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can have a deeper incorporation of programming within organization.
MNOIC State Council (1 recommendation) The leadership and employees of the 5 organization members of this council really understand the communities they serve, as they have faced the social challenges faced by their constituency.
MNOIC State Council

http://www.mnoicsc.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The leadership and employees of the 5 organization members of this council really understand the communities they serve, as they have faced the social challenges faced by their constituency.

Organizational Strengths

N
The operations of the 5 member organizations of the MN state council of OICs has always been focused on obtaining tangible results. They are goal oriented organizations.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can make the general people aware of the goals they achieve every year.
Main Street Project (1 recommendation) The Rural Enterprise Center is a program of Main Street Project that focuses on enterprise development. Their mission is to strengthen communities by bringing together the support infrastructure, systems, resources and programs that rural entrepreneurs need to succeed.
Main Street Project

http://www.mainstreetproject.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
The Rural Enterprise Center is a program of Main Street Project that focuses on enterprise development. Their mission is to strengthen communities by bringing together the support infrastructure, systems, resources and programs that rural entrepreneurs need to succeed.

Organizational Strengths

F
The Rural Enterprise Center has created an innovative scalable approach that capitalizes on strengths, and addresses challenges often tied to structural racism: the lack of access to land, working capital, marketing and business support/infrastructure, and focused training. The approach is designed to require minimum investment or inputs and deliver maximum return or outputs.

Areas for Improvement

F
They can work on connecting more families with farmer mentors, and build out their classroom and experiential training platform.
Mayo Clinic (1 recommendation) The evidence of impact for Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research is their cutting edge R&D and partnerships with entities as Hormel and UM-R; such work will contribute to the regional economic and technological development.
Mayo Clinic

http://www.mayoclinic.com/

Evidence of Impact

O
The evidence of impact for Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research is their cutting edge R&D and partnerships with entities as Hormel and UM-R; such work will contribute to the regional economic and technological development.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have a world class reputation/name.

Areas for Improvement

O
I don't understand their massive structure nor how to access it.
Minnesota Diversified Industries (1 recommendation) They have a high employability of client workers.
Minnesota Diversified Industries

http://www.mdi.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They have a high employability of client workers.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their strengths are their leadership and community connections.

Areas for Improvement

O
They can reach out to new training options and broaden corporate sponsorship.
Minnesota Technology (1 recommendation) This organization provides services directly to businesses in Minnesota. These services range from business operations to workforce development. This organization has a direct impact on improving businesses in Minnesota.
Minnesota Technology

Evidence of Impact

O
This organization provides services directly to businesses in Minnesota. These services range from business operations to workforce development. This organization has a direct impact on improving businesses in Minnesota.

Organizational Strengths

O
The staff are the ultimate strength of this organization. They are professional, experienced, and competent in delivering technical assistance and support to businesses in Minnesota.

Areas for Improvement

O
They can provide a greater priority on the importance of workforce development. They can also establish better partnerships with workforce development organizations to provide an even greater impact on Minnesota businesses.
Minnesota Workforce Council Association (1 recommendation) MWCA has been instrumental in research, reporting (transparency), communication, needs assessment, policy development and advocacy, capacity building, recognition of excellence across multiple partners in the workforce development system.
Minnesota Workforce Council Association

http://mwca-mn.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
MWCA has been instrumental in research, reporting (transparency), communication, needs assessment, policy development and advocacy, capacity building, recognition of excellence across multiple partners in the workforce development system.

Organizational Strengths

O
MWCA is a membership organization and members include Workforce Service Area Chief Elected Official Chairs, Workforce Investment Board Chairs, and WSA Executive Directors statewide. Their leadership is a strength but member willingness to serve the greater good over particular geographic and program benefits is why I am nominating MWCA. Each members has a strength and a role and the entire system in Minnesota benefits from its work.

Areas for Improvement

O
MWCA and its members would benefit greatly from funding that is not government. It would support greater innovation and capacity building of the system.
Minnesotaworks.net (1 recommendation) MN Works took the leadership role in developing a structure to help implement legislation at the State of MN to direct 19% of all state contracts to individuals with disabilities.
Minnesotaworks.net

http://https://www.minnesotaworks.net/

Evidence of Impact

N
MN Works took the leadership role in developing a structure to help implement legislation at the State of MN to direct 19% of all state contracts to individuals with disabilities.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength is their marketing.

Areas for Improvement

N
They need ongoing support for contract awarded work through the state. The assistance obtaining the contract was wonderful, but the follow-up support has not been there.
National Institute for Metalworking Skills (1 recommendation) NIMS has made it possible for many workers to receive a valid and recognizable certification in the metalworking skills industry.
National Institute for Metalworking Skills

http://www.nims-skills.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
NIMS has made it possible for many workers to receive a valid and recognizable certification in the metalworking skills industry.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have impact all across the US. They collaborate with other organizations including education, and they have strong leadership.

Areas for Improvement

O
Regional reps may be helpful to accomplish their mission.
Northeast Entrepreneur Fund (1 recommendation) They have good leverage of public resources, quantifiable measurable results and strength as a long term relationship builder.
Northeast Entrepreneur Fund

http://www.entrepreneurfund.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They have good leverage of public resources, quantifiable measurable results and strength as a long term relationship builder.

Organizational Strengths

O
They are a recognizable entity in the region that has brought national recognition to the industry. They have good partnerships with other service providers in the region.

Areas for Improvement

O
Sustainability is always a concern. With the reduction by many funding organizations, how can the non-profit truly benefit from best business practices used in the private market?
Northern Connections (1 recommendation) Northern Connections tracks a wide array of impact data including: / *number of people served, number of contacts per individual / *employment outcomes such as job placement, job retention, self-report of living wage / *number of referrals made and client access of employment supportive services such as child care, transportation, food shelves, food support / *number of referrals made to asset building programs and self-reports of uptake including programs such as FAIM/IDAs, financial literacy training, credit scores and repair, EITC, Minnesota CARE / *number of individuals receiving telephonic financial education and measure of increased knowledge / *number of people who develop and implement plans related to areas such as employment, asset development, education/training and housing.
Northern Connections

http://www.northernconnections.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
Northern Connections tracks a wide array of impact data including: / *number of people served, number of contacts per individual / *employment outcomes such as job placement, job retention, self-report of living wage / *number of referrals made and client access of employment supportive services such as child care, transportation, food shelves, food support / *number of referrals made to asset building programs and self-reports of uptake including programs such as FAIM/IDAs, financial literacy training, credit scores and repair, EITC, Minnesota CARE / *number of individuals receiving telephonic financial education and measure of increased knowledge / *number of people who develop and implement plans related to areas such as employment, asset development, education/training and housing.

Organizational Strengths

F
They have a visionary leadership and highly qualified staff.
Northland Foundation (1 recommendation) They have an on-going commitment to provide Career Activities for Youth and also supply grants to other non-profits to do direct service.
Northland Foundation

http://www.northlandfdn.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They have an on-going commitment to provide Career Activities for Youth and also supply grants to other non-profits to do direct service.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have a knowledgeable staff-the President serves on the MnSCU Board, which is the Workforce Development Higher Education System for the State of MN. They provide all related activities to create jobs as well as workforce development.

Areas for Improvement

O
They can work on increased funding as opposed to other priorities, and work more closely with community colleges.
Northwest Minnesota Foundation (1 recommendation) The NMF was pivotal in establishing Impact 2020, which was "a group of NW Minnesota leaders representing diverse interests working together for the region's economic success." This group has identified three initiatives to improve the workforce in its region: 1) Education- increasing high school graduation rates and attainment of 2-and 4- year college degrees; 2) Workforce- improving management and leadership skills of front-line and mid-level supervisors, and 3) Broadband- increasing the penetration of broadband access and online technology throughout rural NW Minnesota.
Northwest Minnesota Foundation
Bronze-small

http://www.nwmf.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
The NMF was pivotal in establishing Impact 2020, which was "a group of NW Minnesota leaders representing diverse interests working together for the region's economic success." This group has identified three initiatives to improve the workforce in its region: 1) Education- increasing high school graduation rates and attainment of 2-and 4- year college degrees; 2) Workforce- improving management and leadership skills of front-line and mid-level supervisors, and 3) Broadband- increasing the penetration of broadband access and online technology throughout rural NW Minnesota.

Organizational Strengths

O
The NMF is one of the affiliated foundations of the McKnight Foundation. It has a permanent professional staff and access to many subject area experts and facilitators. It is well-established and enjoys the confidence of the communities it serves.

Areas for Improvement

O
Currently, the NMF has a very broad focus to improve life in NW Minnesota. A more concise focus on workforce development might do more to influence change.
Northwest Private Industry Council (1 recommendation) They provide direct service to job seekers and business in respect to meeting labor market demands in a very rural area.
Northwest Private Industry Council

http://www.nwpic.net/

Evidence of Impact

N
They provide direct service to job seekers and business in respect to meeting labor market demands in a very rural area.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a strong staff and leadership.
Opportunity Partners, Inc. (OP) (1 recommendation) They collaborate with Dunwoody to offer credits and credentials to individuals with disabilities in industrial cleaning.
Opportunity Partners, Inc. (OP)
Silver-small

http://opportunities.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They collaborate with Dunwoody to offer credits and credentials to individuals with disabilities in industrial cleaning.
PPL Industries (1 recommendation) They provide programming for many areas and serves a community based population.
PPL Industries

http://www.pplindustries.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They provide programming for many areas and serves a community based population.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their ability to partner, good leadership, and strong community support are their strengths.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can work on having a broader base other than just urban communities in serving clients
Pacer Center (1 recommendation) This organization works to enhance the lives of children with special needs and their families. They offer free classes on housing, help with transitioning from school to adult living arrangements, assist with transportation issues, help find jobs for those with special needs and hire those with special needs, work and converse with educators and medical professionals, and much more. In addition, they offer continuing advocacy and support for parents, providers, and professionals in these same areas, and work on bullying prevention and education laws.
Pacer Center
Silver-small

http://www.pacer.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
This organization works to enhance the lives of children with special needs and their families. They offer free classes on housing, help with transitioning from school to adult living arrangements, assist with transportation issues, help find jobs for those with special needs and hire those with special needs, work and converse with educators and medical professionals, and much more. In addition, they offer continuing advocacy and support for parents, providers, and professionals in these same areas, and work on bullying prevention and education laws.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a strong leadership. They engage in personal and compassionate conversations that are detailed for the individual's situation. Their staff is also very knowledgeable about ADA and other laws regarding disabilities, harassment, and discrimination. And they love what they do - it shows!

Areas for Improvement

N
They offer many seminars in their location and a few out-state. More could be offered in cities and towns well beyond the metro. Online classes or webinars should also be considered...grant dollars can go so much farther this way.
Pillsbury United Communities (1 recommendation) Brian Coyle Center operates a coffee shop that employs local youth to gain business and job skills as preparation for entering the mainstream workforce. The coffee shop is fairly new, but represents a fresh approach to engaging youth needs and aspirations in that part of Minneapolis.
Pillsbury United Communities

http://www.puc-mn.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Brian Coyle Center operates a coffee shop that employs local youth to gain business and job skills as preparation for entering the mainstream workforce. The coffee shop is fairly new, but represents a fresh approach to engaging youth needs and aspirations in that part of Minneapolis.

Organizational Strengths

N
Brian Coyle is part of a network of sites managed by Pilsbury United Communities, so I believe they have solid operations and support. They also have a good track record of including immigrant youth in program efforts.

Areas for Improvement

N
Because the coffee shop enterprise is new, they will be looking to improve their business operations and the revenue from which funds there youth employment efforts.
Planning and Conservation League Foundation (1 recommendation) They are familiar with the field.
Planning and Conservation League Foundation

http://www.pclfoundation.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They are familiar with the field.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have a strong presence in Mpls St Paul.

Areas for Improvement

O
They can have better advertising, and an improved, updated job list.
Prairie Five Community Action Council (1 recommendation) This community action agency continues to provide support assistance to individuals in order to keep them in the workforce, including providing financial assistance for childcare, home improvements, fuel assistance and affordable transportation to work.
Prairie Five Community Action Council

http://www.prairiefive.com/

Evidence of Impact

O
This community action agency continues to provide support assistance to individuals in order to keep them in the workforce, including providing financial assistance for childcare, home improvements, fuel assistance and affordable transportation to work.

Organizational Strengths

O
This organization shows dedication to the people they help and the community they serve.The staff are very caring and willing to work with other agencies.

Areas for Improvement

O
Again ability to work with more individuals would be great.
Recycling Association of Minnesota (1 recommendation) Recycling Association of Minnesota creates a wide variety of work opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During the past three years they have created more than 400 jobs throughout the state of MN.
Recycling Association of Minnesota

http://www.recycleminnesota.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Recycling Association of Minnesota creates a wide variety of work opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During the past three years they have created more than 400 jobs throughout the state of MN.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have good marketing and leadership.

Areas for Improvement

N
They need more staff to maintain these high impact programs.
Riverbend Center for Enterprises Facilitation (1 recommendation) They facilitate, support, and encourage entrepreneurs, start-ups, and existing business owners with their ideas that fosters growth.
Riverbend Center for Enterprises Facilitation

Evidence of Impact

O
They facilitate, support, and encourage entrepreneurs, start-ups, and existing business owners with their ideas that fosters growth.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their have expertise in assisting business either as startups or in a growth mode.
Rochester Area Family YMCA (1 recommendation) Y Mentors is a nonprofit, community based, program that matches youth in need of a positive adult role model with adult volunteers. There are typically between 40 and 50 kids on the waiting list and some youth wait up to one year to become matched with a mentor. Next to a child's teacher, a parent or mentor is an essential component for educational attainment and successful entry into the workforce.
Rochester Area Family YMCA

http://www.rochesterymca.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Y Mentors is a nonprofit, community based, program that matches youth in need of a positive adult role model with adult volunteers. There are typically between 40 and 50 kids on the waiting list and some youth wait up to one year to become matched with a mentor. Next to a child's teacher, a parent or mentor is an essential component for educational attainment and successful entry into the workforce.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a strong and positive presence in the community. They are recognized as a leader in successfully matching students and recruiting mentors.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can increase their capacity to serve more students in need.
Sarah's...an Oasis for Women (1 recommendation) They positively impacting the lives of women by providing transitional housing.
Sarah's...an Oasis for Women

http://csjstpaul.org/sarahswelcome.aspx

Evidence of Impact

N
They positively impacting the lives of women by providing transitional housing.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their staff is compassionate and care about the long-term success of the women in their housing. They work hard to support the women in every area of their life - housing, employment, training, etc.
Southeastern Minnesota Development Corporation (1 recommendation) They have been working on a Goodhue County-wide business directory, they assisted with compliance and reporting requirements for Federal Mogul Retention Project in Lake City, assisted with 80 business flood recovery applications in Rushford and completed a Small Cities grant application totaling $1,140,000 in Houston County.
Southeastern Minnesota Development Corporation

http://www.semdc.com/

Evidence of Impact

F
They have been working on a Goodhue County-wide business directory, they assisted with compliance and reporting requirements for Federal Mogul Retention Project in Lake City, assisted with 80 business flood recovery applications in Rushford and completed a Small Cities grant application totaling $1,140,000 in Houston County.

Organizational Strengths

F
Their consultants can help you obtain information on regulatory requirements, market conditions, industry trends, technologies, and more. SEMDC Operates the SBA Small Business Development Center for Winona and Fillmore Counties. They can also can review your current business situation and make recommendations that will help you capitalize on your strengths. If you are considering purchasing a business they can help review and evaluate the business opportunity.
Springboard for the Arts (1 recommendation) Springboard provides exceptional training for a targeted audience. Their services are also holistic, based on the needs of their constituency - from job training to health care services for artists. The community they serve would be severely impacted if their services were ceased.
Springboard for the Arts

http://www.springboardforthearts.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Springboard provides exceptional training for a targeted audience. Their services are also holistic, based on the needs of their constituency - from job training to health care services for artists. The community they serve would be severely impacted if their services were ceased.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their leadership is exceptional in pinpointing problems and finding solutions. Their staff is active and engaged in their community, and their organization is committed to finding problems even to tricky solutions.
St. Stephen's Human Services (1 recommendation) They work with families and homeless folks, finding them jobs, homes and helping them to stabilize their lives.
St. Stephen's Human Services
Silver-small

http://www.ststephensmpls.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They work with families and homeless folks, finding them jobs, homes and helping them to stabilize their lives.
The Hormel Foundation (1 recommendation) They are a strong community member with significant investments in Austin Public Schools. Their specific interest is in science and technology skills for Austin students. They provide scholarships for any teacher wanting to get their Master's degree, and also provide scholarships for Austin high school graduates to go on to college. They completely renovated the high school science labs.
The Hormel Foundation

http://www.thehormelfoundation.com/

Evidence of Impact

N
They are a strong community member with significant investments in Austin Public Schools. Their specific interest is in science and technology skills for Austin students. They provide scholarships for any teacher wanting to get their Master's degree, and also provide scholarships for Austin high school graduates to go on to college. They completely renovated the high school science labs.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are very committed to the Austin community. They have good management of resources as funding levels fluctuate for the company, and their strong leadership team is made up of active community members.

Areas for Improvement

N
They need more visibility of the process and types of projects funded. Since Hormel workers come from a wide area around the Austin community perhaps investments could be spread farther than just Austin.
The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota (1 recommendation) The Phillips new Sector Strategies Initiative has their grantees turning to a new focus -- longer term, sustainable programming to replace the one-shot model of job training.
The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota

http://www.phillipsfnd.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
The Phillips new Sector Strategies Initiative has their grantees turning to a new focus -- longer term, sustainable programming to replace the one-shot model of job training.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have a very strong staff who remain committed over the long haul.

Areas for Improvement

O
Their redesigned effort is in its infancy -- will be interesting to see how it develops.
Todd County DAC (1 recommendation) Todd County DAC works with the local community to not only bring living skills to its clients but also ties the community with the community employment for consumers. They have the client develop job skills to the clients with sorting, displaying, selling and producing items for the outlets.
Todd County DAC

http://todd-co-dac.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Todd County DAC works with the local community to not only bring living skills to its clients but also ties the community with the community employment for consumers. They have the client develop job skills to the clients with sorting, displaying, selling and producing items for the outlets.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their leadership has great ties to the community and works with the locals to increase the job skills they can offer to the clients. They have a staff that cares for the skills and also uses every available opportunity to display and demonstrate the skills that can be obtained in every situation.

Areas for Improvement

O
The only recommendation that I would have for improvements for this organization is out of their control. The job coaches and other front line staff is on a low wage scale due to the budget that they have to work with, the service that the staff provides is about the pay scale that they offer.
United Way of West Central Minnesota (1 recommendation) They provide a broad based support of numerous community initiatives from support of West Central Industries (a business staffed by disabled folks).
United Way of West Central Minnesota

http://www.unitedwaykc.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They provide a broad based support of numerous community initiatives from support of West Central Industries (a business staffed by disabled folks).

Organizational Strengths

O
Their strengths are their leadership and marketing.
Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota (1 recommendation) Language / Difference Culture.
Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota
Bronze-small

http://www.vssmn.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Language / Difference Culture.

Organizational Strengths

N
They provide direct service and follow up case.

Areas for Improvement

N
They can improve on their communication.
WACOSA (1 recommendation) They have strong employment outcomes for persons with developmental disabilities.
WACOSA

http://www.wacosa.com/

Evidence of Impact

N
They have strong employment outcomes for persons with developmental disabilities.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a great organizational structure and leadership.
Wadena County Day Activity Center (1 recommendation) Wadena County DAC works with the local community to not only bring living skills to its clients but also ties the community with the community employment for consumers and has the client develop job skills to the clients with sorting, displaying, selling and producing items for the outlets.
Wadena County Day Activity Center

Evidence of Impact

O
Wadena County DAC works with the local community to not only bring living skills to its clients but also ties the community with the community employment for consumers and has the client develop job skills to the clients with sorting, displaying, selling and producing items for the outlets.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their leadership has great ties to the community and works with the locals to increase the job skill that they can offer to the clients. They have a staff that cares for the skills and also uses every available opportunity to display and demonstrate the skills that can be obtained in every situation.

Areas for Improvement

O
The only recommendation that I would have for improvements for this organization is out of their control. The job coaches and other front line staff is on a low wage scale due the budget that they have to work with, the service that the staff provides is about the pay scale that they offer.
Welcome Center, Inc. (1 recommendation) They provide employment skill development for a diverse population.
Welcome Center, Inc.

http://www.austinwelcomecenter.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
They provide employment skill development for a diverse population.

Organizational Strengths

F
Their staff has connections to businesses and are funded by some of the business foundations.

Areas for Improvement

F
They can focus on top outcomes and try not to be everything to everyone.
Women's Foundation of Minnesota (1 recommendation) They stress on providing leadership qualities for women and also stress on financial literacy awareness as one prepares for leadership roles.
Women's Foundation of Minnesota
Silver-small

http://www.wfmn.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They stress on providing leadership qualities for women and also stress on financial literacy awareness as one prepares for leadership roles.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their ease of submitting requests is one of their strengths, and the fact that although this organization does not often make large awards, it supports multiple organizations to accomplish important tasks through medium to smaller amounts of grant funds.
Workforce Connections, Inc. (1 recommendation) Workforce Connections has been a leader in making connections to the business community and being entrepreneurial themselves. They have operated their agency like a business, generated revenues, created solid outcomes, and have been very successful at attracting nationwide grants.
Workforce Connections, Inc.

http://www.workforceconnections.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Workforce Connections has been a leader in making connections to the business community and being entrepreneurial themselves. They have operated their agency like a business, generated revenues, created solid outcomes, and have been very successful at attracting nationwide grants.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their operational management has been first rate, and their grant writer is exceptional.

Areas for Improvement

N
They are transitioning to a new director without the kind of entrepreneurial expertise that their former had when he retired.
YMCA of Greater Saint Paul Metropolitan Minnesota (1 recommendation) They have a strong presence in Mpls St Paul.
YMCA of Greater Saint Paul Metropolitan Minnesota
Silver-small

http://mplsfd.ymcatwincities.org/Page.aspx?pid=195

Organizational Strengths

O
They have a strong presence in Mpls St Paul.

Areas for Improvement

O
Improved communication and advertising.

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