Nonprofit Emerge Community Development in August will take over the hard-pressed recycle-and-refurbish manufacturing and retail enterprise of Project for Pride in Living (PPL), the nonprofit that will focus on its much-larger affordable housing-and-employment training programs.
The combined enterprise will have about $8.2 million in revenue, about two-thirds of which is generated by Emerge's enterprises. No cash will change hands in the merger.
PPL took over the financially ailing Rebuild Resources several years ago, sold its St. Paul building against which Rebuild had borrowed to stay in business, and merged that operation into what has become PPL's Momentum Enterprises. Momentum representatives approached Emerge about a combination last winter. Momentum also has been dogged by low commodity prices for recycled material.
Emerge's longtime CEO Mike Wynne said Momentum has gone through difficult cost-cutting to survive.
He said the soon-to-be formed Emerge Enterprise Division will employ 65 people. Momentum President Janet Ludden, a former board member of Rebuild Resources, will lead the operation.
PPL President Paul Williams said the merger allows PPL to focus on its principal mission of affordable housing and training underemployed people for careers in financial services, health care and other industries through employer partners.
The combined operation includes PPL's plant in southeast Minneapolis and a used office-and-home furnishings retail business that PPL successfully ran in Northeast for 25 years.
Many Momentum employees have criminal records or chemical dependency backgrounds and sign up for on-the-job-training and a fresh start that includes supportive services.
Twenty-year-old Emerge, a spinoff of Pillsbury United Communities, is a North Side-based enterprise that works with employment and education partners to train and employ low-income adults and young people. It was recognized by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce as "Nonprofit of the Year" in 2014 for its innovative staffing and other enterprises that work with the unemployed.
Emerge, which earlier this year moved into the refurbished Emerge Career and Technology Center, the formerly shuttered North Branch Library on W. Broadway Avenue, last year served 2,500 in its training programs and placed 900 people.