Sundance Family Foundation Partnering Across Sectors To Recruit
Next Generation Workforce With Earn & Learn Positions
Students and companies and community partners identified as TrailBlazers to Launch the Earn & Learn Initiative
The Sundance Family Foundation launched its Earn & Learn initiative by honoring Twin Cities employers as Community Champions and celebrating the young adults (18-28) entering Earn & Learn fast tracks pathways to exciting 21st century careers. Community Champion employers offer sustainable wages and tuition reimbursement or flexible hours needed to complete post-secondary degrees. This initiative was developed by creating collaborations and partnerships of multi-sector, cross-agency leaders who not only responded to a call to action but who have also taken aligned actions towards a common goal. This goal is to make sure that all youth have an opportunity to enter an exciting and rewarding career no matter what their economic, racial, religious or geographic status.
The launch of the Earn & Learn initiative on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 5:00pm at the Target Center VIP Treasure Island Club Suite featured NBA Champion and Minnesota native Devean George, who is boosting economic opportunities in North Minneapolis. As well, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey talked about how this Earn & Learn initiative supports, Inclusive Economics, one of the three pillars of his Minneapolis City Plan.
Awards to youth and young adults as Honorees were followed by a half-time shout out during the Minnesota Lynx vs. Seattle Storm game. The celebration. Employers, mentors, students and their family stories were captured in photos, videos and aired on social media.
Minnesota unemployment is 3.2%, yet young adults from low-income neighborhoods are currently facing an 18% to 23% unemployment rate, according to MN DEED. Attracting unrepresented youth is the key to building our next generation workforce.
Equally compelling, 54% of all students who start college don’t finish in four years. When they leave college early they become hampered with college loans which often prevent them from furthering the education needed for today’s jobs. More than half of these young Minnesotans don’t attain a certificate or a post-secondary degree until age 28 or 30 according to the MN Office of Higher Education.
Most Minnesota youth are moving through their 20s with only their High School Diplomas or GEDs, greatly impacting their economic viability and opportunities according to the Minnesota Council on Higher Education.
“We don’t have a shortage of workers, we have a lack of access to training,” says Nancy Jacobs, President and Co-Founder of Sundance Family Foundation. “We are partnering with schools and employers across sectors to ensure no one is closed out of a meaningful career.”
Additional initiative sponsors include: Bridgewater Bank, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Dorsey & Whitney Trust, Fortner Family Charitable Trust, Manufacturers Alliance, Goldman Sachs, Metta Financial LLC, and George Group North.