What are we doing now?
Collaborative Development and Management
Client: East Side Employment xChange
LukeWorks has been the “backbone” for the East Side Employment xChange since it’s inception. The xChange is a collective impact effort with fourteen partners on the East Side of Saint Paul to foster more and better employment outcomes -- as well as broader community well-being and prosperity for East Side residents. We are changing the conversation between job counselors and jobseekers, strengthening collaborative behavior among nonprofit and public partners, and testing new ways to pay for the wide range of services jobseekers need to successfully enter and advance in the labor market.
Learn more about the East Side Employment xChange here.
What we've done
Research and Writing
Client: National Skills Coalition
LukeWorks has completed several research and writing projects for the National Skills Coalition, a national coalition of nonprofit, labor, business, and education stakeholders focused on federal workforce policy. Most recently, we completed primary and secondary research to analyze intersections in federal policy between workforce and community development.
The resulting report, Building Pathways to Employment in America’s Cities through Integrated Workforce and Community Development, was shared with stakeholders around the country and discussed with high-level Cabinet and White House staff. Luke is a founding Board member of the National Skills Coalition.
LukeWorks led the process to develop North@Work, an innovative collaboration designed to address unemployment and underemployment among Northside African American men for the Northside Funders Group/Center for Economic Inclusion.
A key to the design has been strong collaboration among multiple service delivery partners, and ongoing innovation to help the intervention be as effective as it can be.
Training and Field-Building
Client: The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation
LukeWorks was a partner for the The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota Sectoral Employment Initiative, a program to support local non-profits in their efforts to build career pathway training in specific industries important to the region. LukeWorks organized and help facilitate three community-wide meetings featuring national and local experts on workforce development, industry-driven training partnerships, and racial equity in employment.
Research and Strategy Development
Client: Merrick Community Services
LukeWorks has had a long relationship with Merrick Community Services. This longstanding ‘settlement house’ on Saint Paul’s far east side engaged LukeWorks to complete a community needs assessment, analyzing census data and other sources to identify the changing demographics of the surrounding neighborhood, current service needs, and how the organization’s programming should shift to meet those needs. Following that project, LukeWorks also completed a workforce program strategy for the organization, highlighting regional labor market opportunities that could be pursued to benefit neighborhood residents.
Policy Analysis and Advocacy for Change
Client: City of Minneapolis
LukeWorks was hired by the City of Minneapolis to facilitate the publicly-appointed working group charged with developing a “Paid Sick and Safe Time” policy. LukeWorks facilitated the group process; supported City staff in research and analysis on paid sick time in other jurisdictions; and, drafted the final recommendations with the working group that led to passage of Minneapolis’ paid sick time law in 2016. LukeWorks played a similar role under contract to the City for development of the Minimum Wage law that passed in 2017. Through both engagements, LukeWorks and partners scheduled, staffed, and facilitated public meetings, reaching various Minneapolis residents, businesses, and community organizations.
Collaborative Development and Proposal Writing
Client: City of Minneapolis
The City of Minneapolis hired LukeWorks to facilitate the collaborative effort between the City of Minneapolis and North Minneapolis neighborhood, and nonprofit organizational leaders to shape a successful proposal resulting in Minneapolis being designated as one of fifteen “Promise Zones” in the country. LukeWorks facilitated a process with two hundred participants, several community gatherings, and led the writing team that produced the successful proposal.
Collaborative Organizational Development
Client: Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON)
LukeWorks was present at the creation of the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON). LukeWorks facilitated the early discussions that led to the formation of this collaboration among five organizations to expand and improve entrepreneur training in North Minneapolis. Through its collaborative stage and even after the organization became an independent nonprofit, LukeWorks facilitated meetings among partners, raised over $1M in public and philanthropic support, and shaped the initial strategic direction for the organization.