Awards and Recognition

  • 2018 Preservation of Minnesota Award for renovation of former North Branch Library into the EMERGE Career & Technology Center
  • 2016 Bush Prize for Community Innovation
  • 2016 Northwest Area Foundation Social Enterprises Cohort
  • 2015 Accenture US Corporate Citizenship Social Change Award
  • 2014 Bank of America Neighborhood Builder
  • 2014 Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit of the Year
  • 2014 City of Minneapolis Youth Provider of the Year


EMERGE was established as a 501c3 non-profit in 1995, as an arm of Pillsbury United Communities. In 2006, EMERGE spun off as an independent entity, with the purpose of creating jobs for hard-to-employ adults through innovative enterprises.

In 2007, EMERGE opened a supportive housing facility (Camden Apartments) and established a new corporate headquarters in a formerly-blighted building, at 1101 West Broadway in North Minneapolis.

In 2015, we opened the EMERGE Career and Technology Center in what was once the historic North branch library building, expanding training opportunities for those who need them. The same year, we merged with Momentum Enterprises, taking on three new social enterprise businesses. Our four social enterprises now include EmergeWORKS, Second Chance Manufacturing, Second Chance Recycling, and Furnish Office and Home.

Today, EMERGE is a place-based community development agency, open to helping all people ready to redefine themselves, with special expertise in serving ex-offenders, at-risk youth, and homeless fathers and their families. Our staff and AmeriCorps service members serve more than 3,000 low-income people (91% people of color) every year.

Overall, we are passionate about confronting injustice, closing the racial jobs gap, and helping to fight the ‘digital divide’ between low-income people and others with higher level technical skills. In 2014, we were honored to be recognized as the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce’s “Nonprofit of the Year.” In 2015, we were named Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builder. We have been re-accredited by the Charity Review Council, having met all 27 standards of accountability.