January 31, 2013 in Archive, Financial Fitness
Did you know that one in five Minnesotans eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is not accessing it? According to the IRS, that’s the number of people who’ve earned it but aren’t claiming it. Claim it!, a statewide awareness campaign, aims to reduce that number. This tax season it launches a new look, a new website, and a new message – “You earned it, you claim it!”
Who earns the EITC?
For those not familiar with the EITC, it’s a refundable federal tax credit for individuals who work but do not earn high wages. Because the credit can be as large as $5,891, it often translates into a significant income-boost for hardworking Minnesota families that often times have difficulty making ends meet. The EITC is responsible for lifting tens of thousands of Minnesotans out of poverty, many of them children. EITC recipients might also be eligible for other important tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit and Minnesota Working Family Credit, which together can boost a family’s income by up to 40%! Read the rest of this entry →
November 28, 2012 in Archive, Events, ROI, Uncategorized
The Case for Proving Impact
“The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works—whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.” – President Barack Obama
How prepared are we, the social service sector, to clearly demonstrate that our interventions work? Do we have adequate evidence of our impact? Can we clearly account for “the counter-factual,” quantify “net-impact,” and demonstrate that the benefits produced by our sector clearly outweigh the costs? While those of us who work in human services undoubtedly understand the value produced by our good work, increasingly policy makers, taxpayers and donors are asking “what is the value of our investment?” Our ability to measure and demonstrate impact is as pressing now as it ever has been. Read the rest of this entry →
November 1, 2012 in Archive, Racial Disparities, Unemployment
Part III: Unemployment in Black & White
This is the last blog in guest blogger, Karen Francois’ three-part series examining the high rates of unemployment in the Twin Cities African-American community.
So, what’s the answer? I’ll tell you one thing. It’s not just jobs. What’s needed is systemic change, policy change, collaboration and yes, jobs. What else? A wise young person recently said to me and to the Mayor of Minneapolis, we need authentic voices to be heard.
She’s writing a paper about that as we speak. I’ll keep you posted. We do have what I believe to be an answer or at least part of it. It’s the regional collaborative (the EPI report is based on regional data) formed as a result of the Everybody In report. Read the rest of this entry →
October 15, 2012 in Archive, Events, Innovation, Uncategorized
DATE: October 18
TIME: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
LOCATION: University ofSt. Thomas Minneapolis Campus
The UST Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship provides a dynamic, crowd-based, “applied innovation” learning platform for you to actively engage with expert innovation and entrepreneurship leaders who have challenged the status quo of social change. You will hear relevant trends, new sources for financing, and practical but “outside the box” methods for you to create value and resiliency in your work. 50% scholarship for United Way grantees. Please enter the promotional code: TARGET85 when prompted on the online registration page. LEARN MORE or REGISTER
September 17, 2012 in Archive, Conversation, Racial Disparities, Unemployment
Part II: Unemployment in Black & White
My second question: do we have any jobs? The MinnesotaWorks website posts at least 40,000 jobs on a regular basis statewide. I checked today and it was 49,562. I even heard a representative of DEED on a panel at a Department of Labor event talk about all of those jobs but naysayers I talked with said they didn’t believe those jobs existed. So, I met with the head of the Labor Market Information office at DEED who told me that website was updated on a regular basis and that those jobs did in fact exist. He also said that most of the jobs listed were in the Twin Cities.
We’ve got jobs – 49,562. We’ve got unemployed people – at least 10,000 in Minneapolis (about 20,000 in the region). How do we connect them? Obviously no small feat or it would have been done already, right?
August 20, 2012 in Archive, Racial Disparities, Uncategorized, Unemployment
Part I: Unemployment in Black & White
According to a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), Black Metropolitan Unemployment in 2011 by Dr. Algernon Austin, “the biggest black-white unemployment rate disparity was in the Minneapolis metropolitan area, where the black unemployment rate was 3.3 times the white rate. No surprise since the EPI reported in 2010 that of 50 metropolitan areas “the black white unemployment ratio was highest in Minneapolis and Memphis. Not good news…we have the worst unemployment gap between whites and nonwhites in the country. Read the rest of this entry →
August 20, 2012 in Archive, Racial Disparities, Uncategorized, Unemployment
Deep racial disparities in unemployment persist in the Twin Cities
Reposted from Minnesota Budget Bites
The Twin Cities have the highest level of racial disparity in unemployment in the country, according to a study released on Monday. The Economic Policy Institute found that African-Americans in the Twin Cities metropolitan area were 3.3 times as likely to be unemployed as whites in 2011 – the highest level of disparity among 19 major metropolitan areas in the nation.
Unfortunately, this high level of unemployment disparity between blacks and whites in our area is not new. Two years ago we blogged on an EPI study finding that back then the Twin Cities also had the highest level of unemployment disparity among 18 major metropolitan areas. Read the rest of this entry →
July 20, 2012 in Archive, Uncategorized
Skills@Work, a statewide campaign to ensure Minnesota has the skilled workforce it needs to compete in the global economy, is putting together regional action teams of community, economic development, business, and education leaders around the state.
These teams will meet in the summer and fall to create action plans for their communities, aligning local assets to address skill gaps and seize opportunities. In the Twin Cities metro region we have already created industry panels for Healthcare, IT and Manufacturing that will begin action planning in July.
Local plans will help to inform a statewide policy agenda to support the work of regional teams and promote best practices in human capital development. More information about teams can be found on their website.
July 20, 2012 in Archive, DEED, Employment Assistance, ROI
United Way’s ROI project measures job training outcomes
A Return on Investment evaluation initiative is yielding impressive
and meaningful results.
Reposted from CommunityDividend – The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
In 2007, Greater Twin Cities United Way (United Way) invested $5 million in 36 job training and employment assistance programs. At the same time, the organization launched a years-long project to analyze the impact of the programs. Five years later, the analysis is starting to yield impressive and meaningful results. Read the rest of this entry →
May 21, 2012 in Archive, Events, Uncategorized
Joyce Foundation President Recognizes Minnesota FastTRAC Success
In a recent speech at the Philanthropy Leaders Series (hosted by MCN), Ellen Alberding of Joyce Foundation, described the important systems change efforts of Minnesota FastTRAC resulting in career pathways for low-income communities. Ellen effectively outlined the state’s efforts by talking about the success of an individual FastTRAC participant, Antoinette McCarthy (who had recently been recognized in the Governor’s second State of the State). Ellen characterized Antoinette’s story “as inspirational as her smile–that night was electric.” Antoinette, a mother of three struggling to make ends meet, had recently completed a FastTRAC training that earned her an industry recognized credential and was now on a trajectory to earning double that of a minimum wage job. Antoinette has also chosen to continue her education and will complete coursework this fall becoming a Registered Nurse. State policy change and innovative program efforts funded by Joyce Foundation was a big part of Antoinette’s success. Read the rest of this entry →