You are browsing the archive for Amanda Simmer.

Our Work: Health Care Access

February 26, 2014 in Blog Post, Health

What is United Way’s health care access goal and how does it create pathways out of poverty?

Family who needs access to health care

United Way is helping families navigate barriers and access needed care.

Learn how United Way is improving health care access for the underinsured and uninsured in our community. Alana Wright, director of Health, shares how the role of Community Impact is helping achieve this critical goal. READ MORE

Then read these Success Stories:

Join Us on 2-1-1 Day

January 24, 2014 in Event, United Front Blog Archives

American WinterAnnually, February 11th is set aside nationally as “2-1-1 Day”. This year, thanks to 2-1-1’s partnership with Call for Justice, a free screening of the film “American Winter” will be held at the Riverview Theater in South Minneapolis. “American Winter” is an HBO documentary on homelessness, filmed in Portland, Oregon and highlights the local 2-1-1 services. Greater Twin Cities United Way and 2-1-1 will host a brief presentation to talk about our impact in the community around homelessness. Please join us, it promises to be a very moving experience. Download a flyer to distribute.

Event Details
DATE: Tuesday, February 11
TIME: 4-6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Riverview Theater
3800 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406


January 23, 2014 in Collective Impact, Event, Homelessness, Poverty, United Front Blog Archives

Statewide Partnership for Good

by Ellie Krug, Call for Justice

National United Way 2-1-1

“In America the recession is over, and U.S. corporations and Wall Street are doing better than ever. Yet 46% of this country is living in poverty, or near poverty, and today we have the highest number of poor since we began keeping records…” –Harry & Joe Gantz (producers of AMERICAN WINTER)

In a society with declining safety nets and cuts to social services programs, many people—honest, hard-working people—are falling through the cracks. Whether it’s the sudden loss of a job, the absence of a partner, or the unanticipated medical emergency, there are those who find themselves unexpectedly in need of help, with no direction to go.

So what do they do? They call United Way 2-1-1. Read the rest of this entry →

Career Pathway Systems

December 16, 2013 in Event, Jobs & Training, Uncategorized, United Front Blog Archives

What We Know After 10 Years and 80 Industry Partnerships

By Scott J. Sheely

Image of hands stacked together to represent partnershipAs Minnesota workforce partners continue to explore and expand their interest in engaging the business community through organized industry partnerships, some reflection on best practices that have been developed through 10 years of experience with industry partnerships in Pennsylvania may be in order.

At one time, PA funded as many as 80 industry partnerships around the Commonwealth which trained thousands of incumbent workers annually in industries including agriculture, manufacturing, logistics and transportation, health care, biotechnology, energy, communications, and others. Read the rest of this entry →

Career Pathway Systems

December 16, 2013 in Event, Jobs & Training, United Front Blog Archives

A Time To Examine America’s Skills

Reposted from MintPress News by Frederick Reese


Click to Enlarge

There is a desperate need to reformulate the way skills are attained and retained in the country.
America finds itself in a quandary. According to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), not only is the skill level of the American working populace slipping compared with the international market, but the nation’s collective skill level is also significantly beneath where it should be to maintain competitiveness.

In reading, math and problem-solving with technology — such as determining the mileage reimbursement for a salesman, sorting emails, or comparing food expiration dates on grocery store tags, Americans scored less than the international average, according to the report. Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands were among the nations that outscored the United States dramatically. It was determined that as much as 10 percent of the working population had insufficient computer skills, such as knowing how to use a computer mouse.

With nearly two out of every three jobs in America requiring postsecondary education and training by 2020, and with over 7 percent of all companies consistently reporting that they cannot find the skilled employees they need to fill key positions, there is a desperate need to reformulate the way skills are attained and retained in the country. Read the rest of this entry →

Conversations that Matter

November 13, 2013 in Caregiving, Conversation, Event, United Front Blog Archives


National Caregivers Month

November 9, 2013 in Caregiving, Uncategorized, United Front Blog Archives

Throughout the month of November, and all year, we acknowledge the important role that family, friends and neighbors play in caring for sick, elderly and disabled friends and relations. We featured inspirational stories from caregivers in our community through personal blogs. Read our blog series: A Personal ALS Story, Preparing for the Age Wave and Caregiving: A Family Tradition.

Caregivers offer a range of services, including emotional and spiritual support, assistance with financial matters, transportation and home- and health-related services. If you’re interested in becoming a part of our online community, CaregivingNOWregister on United Front. If you would like more information, please email

Thank You for Attending!

November 8, 2013 in Event, Jobs & Training, United Front Blog Archives

new_career_pathways_headerThank you for making United Way and CLASP‘s 2013 Career Pathways Forum a success. Career pathways are gaining momentum as a strategy to improve regional economies and individual economic mobility. At this conference we explored strategies for strengthening, scaling and sustaining current innovations. Materials and handouts are available for download on the Materials page. And if you haven’t already, please take our quick survey. take-the-survey_button


October 16, 2013 in Event, Jobs & Training, United Front Blog Archives

Building Bridges with Career Pathways Courses

By Janet M. Paulovich

Virgina Tech Tower Sign

Photo Credit: Brooke Novak

Over the past year and a half, I have had the unique opportunity to work closely with a national team of educators and employers, along with a design team from Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI) and The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), to develop an innovative online STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Readiness course in an open educational format. The course is designed to strengthen “key skills” for workers who are retraining in new STEM Careers, and it is meant to quickly refresh basic skills in math, critical thinking, workplace communication and professional skills. Our team was able to work closely with a number of employer partners to help us design the course modules as realistically as possible. Students taking the course practice dealing with a variety of problems and situations that they will encounter on the job. The STEM Readiness course is currently available on Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative website for anyone to use and would be appropriate for a wide variety of learners, not just those interested in STEM Careers. READ MORE


October 1, 2013 in Domestic/Family Violence, United Front Blog Archives

Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate

Reposted from the National Network to End Domestic Violence Blog

We feel safer when we think domestic violence happens somewhere else to someone else.

Little girl covering her eyesIn reality, domestic violence occurs in our neighborhoods and in our families. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic status. Abusers control and terrorize our daughters, bosses, sisters, friends, and even our sons – who are most often abused by their male partners and sometimes their female partners. While I work to end domestic violence for so many reasons and in honor of so many people, rarely a day goes by when I don’t connect the work I do to the life and experiences of my aunt; a highly respected doctor and beloved mother. READ MORE