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Proximity Promotes Progress

Access creates opportunity. Unfortunately, people living in poverty must often navigate unwieldy and inefficient systems to access workforce development services. While these programs are designed to help lift people out of poverty, they are often not located close to populations experiencing poverty. Coupled with transportation challenges, this can make physically accessing these services nearly impossible for people residing in certain parts of Memphis.

In fact, Slingshot’s team of highly-educated colleagues and researchers struggled mightily to map all the workforce development service providers in Memphis. A single source does not exist to help identify workforce service providers and the programs they offer. If a team of well-educated individuals with time and systemic knowledge struggles to identify accessible services, what hope does an individual with less time and fewer resources have?

One goal of MemWorks is to help make it easier to identify and understand the available workforce services in Memphis. We hope these resources will help individuals navigate to the services they need while helping our community identify gaps and opportunities to create a more connected and supportive workforce development ecosystem for Memphis.

Fact vs. Fiction

REALITY:  Workforce services only benefit those who can access them. We can learn from organizations in other communities that play a centralized role in helping people navigate the workforce ecosystem. YouthForce NOLA in New Orleans, LA and CareerWise Colorado are just two examples. In Memphis, The Collective Blueprint and Memphis Medical District Collaborative are two organizations trying to address these challenges.  Only by understanding both the services landscape and the individuals attempting to navigate it, can we design a more connected and thriving community.

Proximity Promotes Progress