The East Side Employment Exchange

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The East Side Employment Exchange

May 03, 2019

Category: Workforce

The East Side Employment Exchange



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The East Side Employment Exchange is a powerful tool for bridging the gap between East Side residents needing sustainable work and area businesses with more jobs than they can fill. Although tenets of supply and demand suggest that job-seekers and businesses would simply find each other, we know this is not the case. East Side residents face persistent barriers to employment that keep jobs out of the reach, and hold back our entire community.

The Xchange will be operated by the East Side Employment and Workforce Collaborative. The Collaborative is working on a governance model that equitably shares leadership among our partners and creates simple points of communication for funders, employers, and others. We anticipate that partners will rotate through two-year terms as fiscal agent and collaborative leader (not necessarily the same role concurrently). Currently, Merrick Community Services is serving both roles. Merrick has agreed to continue serving as fiscal agent for at least an 18-month pilot phase, ending December 2018. We will select two Collaborative partners as co-leads through that same period, and identify two other partners for 2019-2021. As soon as this rotation is confirmed, a schedule will be distributed among Collaborative partners and funders. Activating the Xchange for an 18-month pilot Collaborative Governance The Xchange forges pathways to employment that wouldn’t happen on their own. To residents, we bring the combined services of the Collaborative, providing wraparound support that is rooted in this community. Our skills training, life coaching, and broad-based community support are all driven to overcome the employment barriers faced by East Siders. To employers, we bring East Siders who have the tools to contribute and thrive in their workplace. And, through partnering directly with employers, we’re able to accommodate their needs, whether they’re a major hospital or a small-business on Payne Avenue.

Our driving goal is to bring employment on the East Side in parity with the rest of St. Paul. We see equitable employment as a moral imperative, and an economic boon for our city and region. The following sections establish the activities, funding needs, governance and workplan for taking meaningful steps towards employment parity