Twin Cities R!SE began in 1993 – our founder, Steve Rothschild, former executive Vice President at General Mills, was motivated to find a solution to the poverty experienced by many people of color in the Twin Cities. Using a market-driven approach, he sought to assist individuals in finding stable and well-paying employment.

Over two decades later, Twin Cities R!SE has expanded into 2 locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and established the Empowerment Institute, which shares our signature Personal Empowerment curriculum with external organizations. We’ve served over 15,000 individuals – nearly 6,000 people in the core program and about 9,500 people in additional programs, like the Empowerment Institute.


None of this would be possible without the generous support from folks like you in our community. Thank you to the volunteers, donors, and partners who have made it possible for us to innovate in our work.


Twin Cities RISE! Founded

Twin Cities RISE! (Responsible, Independent, Skilled, Employed) is founded by Steve Rothschild, a former General Mills Executive Vice President, in Minneapolis. TCR! is established as a 501c3 with a goal of reducing poverty through job training.


TCR Programming Begins

19 participants join the pilot launch. TCR! was created to serve those most difficult to employ, and those underserved by other workforce programs. The original mission was to provide employers with skilled workers, primarily men of color.


Pay for Performance Funding Established

Twin Cities RISE! becomes the first – and only – non-profit to be paid by the state based on their outcomes. TCR continues to be paid only when a participant is placed into a job earning $20,000/year or more with health benefits. Another payment is earned when that individual is still working 12 months from the date of hire. Pay for performance funding demonstrates our standard of accountability and transparency.


Personal Empowerment Program Launched

Twin Cities RISE! begins providing Personal Empowerment training as a required part of the work skills training program. Today, Personal Empowerment is considered the key to TCR’s success, and everyone from participants to staff takes it and knows that they are “Lovable, Important and Valuable!”


Opening of St. Paul Office

TCR! expands its services and adds an office in St. Paul. Today, we continue to have offices in both Minneapolis and St. Paul to best serve the community.


Empowerment Institute Launched

The Empowerment Institute, a division within Twin Cities RISE! that conducts workshops, training sessions, and licenses our signature Personal Empowerment (emotional intelligence and cognitive restructuring) curriculum to employers, schools, universities, and other nonprofits, is established. Some early clients included Jeremiah Program, St. Paul Public Schools, and the University of Dubuque.

Mike Bingham becomes CEO


Awali Place Launched at 1011 West Broadway in North Minneapolis

Awali was created to provide a transition program for men who were not ready to engage in the full Twin Cities RISE! program. The goal was to prepare individuals to enter the full TCR! core program, gain entry into another training program, or find transitional employment. Awali participants were male and had recently been released from incarceration, were not required to have a high school diploma or a GED, and typically did not have stable housing. Awali was spun off and became Ujamaa PLACE.

Project Re-Entry Launched

This program served men who had been incarcerated previously, funded by a yearlong federal grant, in order to improve their long-term employment success and reduce recidivism.


Art Berman Becomes CEO


Expansion of Internship Program

The Internship Program at TCR! is an opportunity for participants to gain work experience at local organizations and companies. At no cost to the company, participants work up to 10 hours a week, which boosts their resumes and helps the company at the same time!


Reentry Connect Launched

Reentry Connect, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, was designed to improve the longterm educational and workforce success of adults, particularly women, who had previously been incarcerated. Participants could enroll up to 90 days prior to or 180 days following their release from federal and state prisons, county correctional facilities and local halfway houses. It ceased operations in 2016 due to a lack of continued funding.


Tom Streitz becomes President and CEO


TCR Rebranded

Twin Cities R!SE name is adjusted, logo is updated, and brand colors are changed.

Minneapolis Office Relocates

from Washington Avenue in the North Loop, to 1301 Bryant Avenue in North Minneapolis.

Metro Transit Program Started

Twin Cities R!SE partners with Metro Transit in recruiting and training bus mechanics and light rail technicians to fill their labor shortage. This multi-phase program, which includes a 2-year Associates Degree from Hennepin Technical College, has resulted to date in 11 low-income individuals becoming trained and hired by Metro Transit as bus mechanics with a starting salary over $60,000 per year with great benefits. Additional cohorts will finish in the summers of 2019 and 2020 with an additional 20 Metro Transit job placements expected.


St. Paul Office Relocates

The St. Paul office relocates from 460 Lexington Avenue to 1600 University Avenue in the Midway neighborhood.

Empowerment Campaign Launches

This first ever capacity building initiative for Twin Cities R!SE, focused on raising funds to build or buy a building, double our number of annual participants, and increase scholarship funds available for paid internships, begins. The campaign has raised over $6,500,000 to date.


Career Pathways

For the first time, private companies partner with TCR and pay for recruitment, training, and placement. Career Pathway cohorts begin in the areas of Customer Service & Call Center and Facilities & Maintenance.

Founder Retires

TCR founder, Steve Rothschild, who served as the organization’s CEO for 10 years and Chair of the Board for the next 15 years, becomes Chair Emeritus.


Mission Updated

TCR updates its mission to “Transforming lives through Personal Empowerment, career training, and meaningful employment.”


New CEO Starts

Emma Corrie joins TCR as the first woman of color to lead the organization.




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