Who is responsible for the future workforce in our cities? That question, and other related ones, was the genesis for an exciting initiative, the Itasca Project.
My company is partnering with The Cookie Cart in north Minneapolis (MN). A few of us spent the afternoon yesterday with Matt (Exec Director) and Taronda (Bakery & Employment Director) of The Cookie Cart. What an inspirational, fun, engaging, humble, and hardworking team!
I highly recommend you try Cookie Cart cookies! You can order here. FYI – they only ship in the seven-county metro area of Minnesota.
(photo: Dan Olson, MPR)
It’s Not About The Cookies
This program is about teaching ‘first job experience’ to teenagers in high-risk areas of Minneapolis. The job site gives them more than just a place to earn some money and eat cookies.
The mission of the organization is, “Through the operation of a retail/commercial bakery, The Cookie Cart offers North Minneapolis youth the opportunity to develop life, leadership and employment skills.”
We’ll be working with them on organizational and curriculum design, and assist in developing an alumni organization and speaker’s bureau.
When Someone Cares
In “Vital Friends” , a book by Tom Rath, the author discusses a major cause of homelessness. Through numerous interviews with homeless people he found the main reason was the loss of that one person who cared about their success. The termination of that friendship was the final catalyst. The same research also found that the main reason people were able to move away from homelessness was that someone took the time to care about their success. This type of caring is what happens at The Cookie Cart. Whose success do you care about?
Connecting with a community that isn’t at WORK
What are you doing to connect with the community outside of your workplace? If you are not already involved and wish to be, there are great nonprofit organizations in your community that would gain tremendous benefit from your experience. The time commitment is usually just a few hours a month.
C is for more than just Cookie. It is for Community as well. (but I LOVE that it is for Cookies…Cookie Cart Cookies!).