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Chamber Foundation

The Minneapolis Regional Chamber Development Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, supports the work and mission of the chamber to improve our economy and quality of life.

Foundation programs drive key strategies to attract, develop and retain a thriving workforce.  They promote leadership development, support corporate philanthropy, encourage youth entrepreneurship, and facilitate regional solutions and collective action to meet talent needs. Current programs and initiatives of the MRC Development Foundation include:

Foundation Programs and Areas of Focus

Bloomington Future Leaders

Bloomington Future Leaders provides scholarships and mentoring opportunities to students at Jefferson and Kennedy high schools in Bloomington, MN. Students in pre-business classes take part in two one-day business conferences, one in the fall and one in the winter, as well as have the chance to participate in mock interviews in the spring.  chamber volunteers provide students with insights about their fields and career choices, act as interviewers, and take part in scholarship application review and interview process. This program works in partnership with Bloomington ISD #271.

Elevate Business HC

Elevate Business HC is a public-private initiative offering pro bono services to businesses located in Hennepin County. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest, businesses have been greatly impacted and economic recovery is a priority. Elevate Business HC provides technical assistance, Peer-to-Peer Roundtables, and educational webinars with a focus on workforce needs in remote environments during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Examples of technical assistance areas include workforce diversification, social media training, fiscal analysis, long term planning, insurance policy review, and website creation & management.

Elevate Futures

The Elevate Futures platform creates a shared tool around which we work with educators and employers to connect industry needs to classroom needs, connect students and job seekers to career exploration and job opportunities, and accelerate the readiness and alignment of our workforce to meet regional workforce demands.

In addition to the platform itself, there are multiple partnerships and events that are part of the Elevate Futures Initiatives. For example, the following events occur in partnership with the Hennepin West CTE Consortium:

  • Regional advisory board: CTE advisory board that connects the private sector with education for career-connected learning
  • Annual Talent Symposium: User-centered design event that brings together community stakeholders to develop solutions around career and technical education.
  • Teacher Externship Program: Multi-day program brings career-based curricula to life and builds a bridge between skill-based and knowledge-based education
  • Virtual Career Expos and job fairs: an interactive opportunity for students to learn about industries, explore career paths, and meet with potential future employers.

Emerging Leaders

The MPLS Regional Chamber’s Emerging Leaders program provides participants with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of regional issues, develop as leaders, establish meaningful business relationships while building connections to the greater community.  Roundtable Discussion events take place September-May.

Leadership Twin Cities

Each year, Leadership Twin Cities takes a cohort of 50+ high potential individuals through a nine-month program of civic education and leadership skills development. The program’s mission is to identify, cultivate and inspire successive generations of community leaders, by examining critical issues and resources, to ensure the social, cultural, and economic prosperity of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region.

For more than 40 years, Leadership Twin Cities has informed more than 2,000 civic leaders about the critical issues facing the region.  Participants spend one day each month from September-May exploring topics such as economic development, education, arts and culture, community safety, health care and government.

Minnesota Keystone Program

The Minnesota Keystone Program promotes corporate philanthropy by recognizing and honoring companies that donate at least 2% of their pre-tax earnings to charitable organizations.  Qualifying companies have an operating presence in Minnesota and donate cash, in-kind donations, including pro-bono services, and/or employee paid volunteer time.  Minnesota Keystone companies receive recognition on the Minnesota Keystone website and at an annual event.  Minnesota Keystone has been operating consistently since 1976 and is a great reflection of Minnesota’s spirit of generosity and sense of community.

Todd Klingel Voyager Scholarship Program

Scholarships are awarded annually to students in the graduating class of the Edison High School Voyager Program. Students must have completed the required curriculum, demonstrated leadership skills and have plans for secondary education to qualify. This fund was established in 2016 by the Northeast Chamber board of directors in honor of the chamber’s late President & CEO Todd Klingel. Klingel was a champion of the Voyager program and believed in the potential of all its graduates.

 TwinWest Foundation Scholarships

The TwinWest Foundation’s scholarship program is funded by an endowment that has provided over $1 million in scholarships since 1982. In its current iteration, scholarships are granted to students from TwinWest partner schools pursuing post-secondary programs in career and technical education.

Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)

YEA! is a groundbreaking and exciting program that empowers young people to take control of their futures in a bold and powerful way, transforming students into CEOs of their own real businesses. In the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, kids ages 11–18, learn how to turn their passions, skills, and talents into a real business or social movement!  In YEA!, students come up with a big idea, pitch that idea for real funding, and actually launch a fully formed, legally registered business – starting as students and graduating as CEOs.

RealTime Talent

In addition to the previous programs, the MRC Development Foundation is fortunate to have a strong partnership with RealTime Talent.  

RealTime Talent is an employer-led public-private collaborative focused on aligning Minnesota’s workforce.  They partner with K-12 education, post-secondary education, industry associations, community-based training organizations, and the public sector to ensure students and jobseekers have the skills and experience needed to grow in high-demand opportunities. They provide current labor market information, customized research, human-centered facilitation, and consulting services that foster accelerated solutions for the talent pipeline and encourages market-oriented data-informed decisions in recruitment, education, and training processes.

Contribute to our work

There are multiple ways to support the mission of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber Development Foundation. You can select a specific program or contribute undesignated funds. Contact foundation@mplschamber.com for more information on specific programs, to allocate employer match funds, or with general inquiries.

Contact foundation@mplschamber.com for more information on specific programs, to allocate employer match funds, or with general inquiries.