East Side Economic Growth Initiative (ESEGI)
Who We Are
A group of cross sector partners working together to implement strategies that advance the growing economic momentum on the East Side. ESEGI targets investments and designs new models that drive a local economic resurgence grounded in communities of color.
ESEGI uses community wealth building values and principles that recognize and honor the assets, talents and experiences of the East Side. We build on strengths that have been overlooked by traditional economic development approaches.
Within the next 10 years, the East Side will be a place with full access to community wealth building opportunities for all residents as a means to ensure equity, lift up cultural assets, promote local ownership and democratize wealth.
Over the past several years, leaders at the ESEGI table have catalyzed a number of community wealth building efforts. Current activities include:
East Side Employment xChange: an 11 community-based organizations working together to create more-and more equitable employment opportunities for the East Side. The xChange, organized by Merrick Community Services, works on activities that are directed collaborating across organizations, changing workforce systems and transforming employment opportunities.
Employer Matched Saving Program: a partnership between the Eastside Financial Center of LSS and Regions Hospital that works to grow career advancement opportunities for Region’s employees through access to tuition assistance, matched saving accounts, and financial and career coaching.
Veggie RX: a partnership between the Hmong American Farmers Association’s, (HAFA) and several HealthEast and Fairview Health System clinics. The project involves purchasing produce from HAFA farmers through their Food Hub and distributing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares to low-wealth patients at the clinics.
Metropolitan State University: through the efforts of the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship, is now an active member of the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative, a joint efforts between The Democracy Collaborative and the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. The Initiative works to leverage the significant procurement, hiring and endowment resources of higher education institutions.
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