We believe the best social service program in the world is a job. During fiscal year 2014 (June 30, 2013-July 1, 2014), we enrolled 632 students in our Adult Education Programs and graduated 316 students. In the same time period, we placed 291 of our students in living wage jobs. Upon enrollment, these students’ average wages ranged from $3,458-$5,182 annually. Seventy percent were unemployed. Around 27% of students self-identified as having a criminal background. Summit’s “Training For Life” helps our students become part of the mainstream. For graduates placed in industry construction jobs during this time period, their starting wage averaged $32,011, and for healthcare graduates in industry jobs, the number was $26,769 annually. Many alumni placed in jobs also receive benefits. There’s no question that Summit’s programs drastically changed the life trajectories of these students—Summit graduates work, support their families, pay taxes, spend money locally, and serve as inspiring examples in their communities. Other key accomplishments from the last year include deepening our partnership with Saint Paul College in order to offer more training at their Saint Paul campus, and launching our night classes. This “nights and satellites” strategy allows Summit to expand efficiently by leveraging the partnerships and resources we already have.
Our goal is to support the development of self-sufficiency in every person regardless of background, economic status or level of ability, through vocational education and training of low-income adults for jobs that pay a living wage. To accomplish this, over this fiscal year (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015) we will: a) enroll at least 696 students in Summit Academy’s Adult Education Programs (about 500 in construction and 200 in our healthcare trainings); b) graduate and certify at least 459 students; and c) place at least 363 graduates in living wage jobs that pay an average of $13.00 per hour. Out of these totals, at least 197 enrollees, 118 graduates, and 75 of our placed alumni will be students from Saint Paul and the East Metro.
Community or Constituency Served
We prioritize men and women from communities of color who struggle with high unemployment and high poverty. The population we serve is 60% African American, 85% people of color and 66% male. The average age of an SAOIC student is 33 – two-thirds of our students are between the ages of 16 and 34. In our most recently completed fiscal year, 70% of students were unemployed when they enrolled and their average wage ranged from $3,458-$5,182 annually. Additionally, 27% of students during the last fiscal year self-identified as having a criminal record. Our work helps these individuals move into the economic mainstream and transition from poverty and dependency to self-sufficiency.
Geographic Area Served
Summit is based in the Heritage Park neighborhood of North Minneapolis. Our students hail from across the entire Twin Cities metro. Traditionally, we prioritize the following neighborhoods for student recruitment: Near North, North, South and Cedar Riverside in Minneapolis; and Frogtown, Selby-Dale and Dayton's Bluff in Saint Paul. Together, these key recruitment areas house the largest concentrations of minority workers and poverty in the Twin Cities.