"NAF is proud to help EMERGE acquire a welding business, which will provide another path to self-sufficiency for its clients."

Allison Wagstrom, Portfolio Manager, Nonprofits Assistance Fund

EMERGE is a place-based community development agency open to helping all people ready to redefine themselves. It creates jobs for hard-to-employ adults through innovative enterprises. It focuses on helping individuals create a path to economic opportunities and success.  It serves more than 3,000 low-income people (91% people of color) annually by being committed to creating better jobs, better lives, and better community.

EMERGE’s programming is dedicated to helping people achieve financial and personal independence.  It does this through a variety of programs, including employment, training, youth, and housing programs; serving as the lead agency of five community-based institutions working together to overcome the economic disparity of African American and African immigrants; and social enterprises.

In 2015, EMERGE merged with Momentum Enterprises, which operates as EMERGE’s social enterprise, creating employment opportunities for its clients while producing revenue for the organization. The merger strengthened the organization, allowing it to deliver more services to the community, especially North Minneapolis where EMERGE is based. Its four social enterprises now include EmergeWORKS, Second Chance Manufacturing, Second Chance Recycling, and Furnish Office and Home.

A new line of business for the manufacturing group is Second Chance Metalworking. The operations will outsource work to meet customer demand in welding and computer-assisted metal fabrication. To address the needs of the customers, training for employees will include industry-recognized certifications in areas such as welding, machining, and forklift operation, as well as training in lean manufacturing principles. The project will create 22 new jobs in Minneapolis for hard-to-serve adults with low income who are overcoming extensive employment challenges.

NAF is proud to provide a bridge loan to EMERGE to purchase the metal manufacturing assets from another metal manufacturing company. With these assets, EMERGE can continue to bridge the divide between low-income people and others with higher-level technical skills.