Corridors 2 Careers Launches Innovative Partnerships for Workforce Development

By: Lisa Guetzkow, Goodwill-Easter Seals
April 30, 2014
 
On March 1st, 2014, the Corridors 2 Careers (C2C) initiative launched an innovative partnership between the Ramsey County Workforce Investment Board, Ramsey County Workforce Solutions and Goodwill-Easter Seals that will promote widespread community involvement in building a strong local economy through workforce development along the Central Corridor Green Line.  The partnership will focus primarily in the Frogtown, Summit-University, Skyline Tower, Glendale Townhomes Community and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods. This project builds off Jobs Central/ Corridors 2 Careers: Creating Work Ready Communities pilot project.
 
Three aspects of the C2C strategy will make a significant impact on unemployment levels among Corridor residents: 
Connecting Corridor residents to workforce development vendors 
Connecting Corridor businesses with work-ready job applicants and workforce vendors 
Aligning employers, workforce development agencies and local government 
 
A key focus of this project is connecting residents with community-based workforce development vendors. More than 9 workforce service providers along the Corridor in the targeted communities have made a commitment to actively collaborate in this project. Three Community Connectors, who are trusted members of these communities, will be providing employment-based outreach to residents living in Corridor neighborhoods with collaborating workforce providers.  They will target residents who do not currently receive formal employment services or those who have experienced barriers to receiving services in the past. To reduce access barriers, the services will incorporate flexible availability, on-site presence in many locations and use a very responsive approach.  Services are based on the unique individual or family situation, as well as meeting community and employer needs.  
 
Connectors will also be building relationships with employers along the Corridor, and assisting to meet their hiring needs by connecting them with qualified, ready-to-work employees from the community. From this, an alignment of workforce needs between the residents and employers will emerge. To strengthen this alignment, the Ramsey County Workforce Investment Boards’ Alignment and Integration Committees will serve as the convening entities to align the strategy, goals and objectives of area workforce development agencies with the employment opportunities along the Corridor. 
 
Targeting a transit line within the community to build a local economy will positively impact the community in multiple ways. The connections, referral, direct links and alignment will reach over 400 residents, all of whom will receive job search assistance. At least 80% of those residents will be connected to various workforce programs that lead to training or employment. Employers will have C2C as a recruiting option, and workforce development agencies will have a large scope of participants to enroll and support in their job programs.
 
Want to learn more, meet and connect with our Community Connectors? Launch events with residents and partner agencies are scheduled for May and June. Watch our website www.goodwilleasterseals.org for more information or contact Bill Allexsaht, Program Services Coordinator at 651-373-9510 or ballexsaht@goodwilleasterseals.org.