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Toolkits for Impact: How 80x3 and Career Academies are Building Movements for Change

A group of Career Academies students look at a computer together

Megan O'Meara


If you’ve followed our social media channels lately, you may have seen a recent flurry of activity around our 80x3: Resilient from the Start and Career Academies initiatives.

In February, we launched, a free toolkit for families, educators, child care advocates and more – connecting them with resources to help make trauma-sensitive child care a reality in their communities.

Earlier this month, we followed that with the launch of, a free toolkit to help educators and employers implement career pathways programs for young adults in their communities.

Both websites represent a new phase for our innovation initiatives as we work to expand our impact statewide – taking the tools that we’ve developed with our partners and opening them up to wider audiences than ever before. Building on the breadth and depth of our community partnerships, this is a role in which Greater Twin Cities United Way is uniquely positioned to serve.

Community partnerships for trauma-sensitive care

80x3, our innovation initiative focused on trauma-sensitive early child care and education, launched in 2022. Since then, the funding and technical support offered by 80x3 has helped child care providers and educators implement new resources to address and mitigate the effects of childhood trauma during those most critical early years.

Building on the lessons we’ve learned with our first funded partners, opens our toolkit to offer information and resources for all community members to play a role – including families, neighbors, educators, child care advocates and lawmakers. The resources at will allow all early education and child care organizations to begin embedding trauma-sensitive skills within their work.

Resources on include our 49-page implementation guide for child care centers, which provides a thorough overview of the steps they can take to replicate 80x3’s work in their community.

Learn more about how you can help support trauma-sensitive child care in your community at

Aligning education with youth career opportunities

Since 2015, our Career Academies innovation initiative has partnered with school districts, employers, higher education institutions and youth organizations to establish new career pathways programs for young people. This work is helping connect young people to high-wage, in-demand career opportunities, while simultaneously closing local employment gaps and promoting greater diversity in the workforce. is built to amplify this impact – making available a new set of resources for school systems, employers and other stakeholders who play a vital role in creating career pathways programs.

We curated and developed our new toolkit in partnership with Jobs for the Future, a national leader in promoting career pathways and long-time ally of Career Academies.

Learn more about charting new career pathways in your community at

Toolkits for community impact

What 80x3 and Career Academies share is a commitment to changing systems – bringing about a fundamental shift in the way that our institutions and public systems approach education and youth development.

Through increased access to our resources and learnings, 80x3 and Career Academies will achieve greater impact in building new partnerships, shifting public awareness and influencing funding decisions to ensure that all young people in our state have the opportunities they need.

But we know that it is not enough to offer up helpful resources without additional support for implementation. This year, both Career Academies and 80x3 will be providing a set of implementation grants that provide additional funding for our nonprofit partners to put this knowledge into practice. Our program officers will continue to serve as trusted consultants for our partners as well, providing guidance and technical assistance to help them problem-solve and innovate in real-time.

These are just two examples of the transformative impact that Greater Twin Cities is working to advance throughout our state. You can help support this work by resharing our social media posts and spreading the word among your friends, colleagues and neighbors. You can also make a gift to our Community Impact Fund to help strengthen education for all Minnesotans.

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About the Author

Megan O'Meara is the senior director of grantmaking for Greater Twin Cities United Way.

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2 comments on “Toolkits for Impact: How 80x3 and Career Academies are Building Movements for Change”

  1. So very excited to work with some of the donors to Greater Twin Cities United Way whose leadership and collaborative work have brought these two innovation initiatives to our region and beyond! GTCUW's sharing for free the knowledge and insights of each website makes it possible for any individual, childcare center, school district or employer share in the positive outcomes.

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