Legacy Society Appreciation Luncheon
On Sept. 8, we gathered to honor United Way’s Legacy Society members at an appreciation luncheon, held at the historic University Club of Saint Paul. Attendees received a warm welcome from long-time United Way volunteer, Judy Corson, and learned more about United Way’s Centennial Year in 2015 from Sarah Caruso, President and CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way.
The event featured remarks about trends and investments in the Education and Jobs Continuum from special guest speakers with in-depth knowledge of the sector. First we heard about demographic and employment trends affecting our region from Craig Helmstetter, PhD, Senior Research Manager at Wilder Research.
In his remarks, Craig shared that while the greater Twin Cities area boasts the highest level of employment of any major metro area, we concurrently hold some of the lowest rankings for employing people of color. These employment gaps combined with disparities in education are troubling for our community and our future as most jobs are likely to require even more education in the years ahead.
Sareen Keenan, United Way’s Senior Program Manager of Career Academies shared an overview of United Way’s investments in education and jobs. At the systems level, United Way’s work includes strong collaboration with other funders to improve our publicly funded workforce system as well as support for technical assistance that strengthens program infrastructure.
New United Way initiatives like Career Academies help high school students earn postsecondary credits while gaining real-world work experience in fields like construction, health care, information technology and manufacturing—combining rigorous technical coursework with valuable career exploration.
Through comprehensive investments in over 30 job programs and over 140 education programs, United Way aims to close gaps and help all children and adults thrive. The event closed with inspiring remarks on leaving a community legacy by Chris Burque, our Planned Giving and Endowment Committee Co-Chair.