Strategy & Facilitation

LukeWorks can help you look thoughtfully at your work and figure out what’s next. We can assess your organization’s capacity and market space, and facilitate development of strategic direction. LukeWorks is also available to facilitate meetings, retreats, or other gatherings to help you get your work done.

Our clients have included:

NFGNorthside Funders Group

LukeWorks led the process to develop North@Work, a unique and innovative collaboration designed to address unemployment and underemployment among Northside African American men. Over five years, North@Work will help move 2000 men to employment — tipping the significant unemployment among black men in North Minneapolis. The program design features strong collaboration among multiple service delivery partners, a targeted approach to working with employers to meet their labor needs, and significant effort to help participating men identify the pathways to work that are most meaningful. Click here for a profile that appeared in the Star Tribune.


LukeWorks interviewed YWCA staff along with local, state, and national experts from the public and non-profit sectors to identify policy and programmatic obstacles to better assisting clients keep and advance in their jobs. Based on our interviews, we laid out a strategic plan for the Y to pursue policy changes, partner with peer organizations, braid funding streams, and explore programmatic changes intended to boost job retention and career advancement services.

Picture1The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota

Over the course of several months, LukeWorks collaborated with the foundation on its Sectoral Employment Initiative, a program to support local non-profits in their efforts to build career pathway training in specific industries important to the region. LukeWorks organized and help facilitate three community-wide meetings featuring national and local experts on workforce development, industry-driven training partnerships, and racial equity in employment.  

Goodwill International

LukeWorks was engaged to facilitate a two-day retreat of Goodwill International affiliates focused on longer-term workforce development strategy for the organization. LukeWorks helped Goodwill International staff shape the meeting and its expected outcomes, facilitated the two-day session, and supported the documentation of the session at its conclusion.

Merrick Community Services

This longstanding ‘settlement house’ on Saint Paul’s far east side engaged LukeWorks to complete a community needs assessment, analyzing census data and other sources to identify the changing demographics of the surrounding neighborhood, current service needs, and how the organization’s programming should shift to meet those needs. Following that project, LukeWorks also completed a workforce program strategy for the organization, highlighting regional labor market opportunities that could be pursued to benefit neighborhood residents.

NorthWay Community Trust

LukeWorks facilitated the development of two community coalitions for this intermediary organization in North Minneapolis. One convening brought neighborhood organization leaders together to shape a shared revitalization strategy for North Minneapolis, including an explicit effort to identify strategies to build wealth among low-income residents. The other coalition, in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), brought several service-providing organizations together to shape a broad-based effort to measure common outcomes toward a revitalized North Minneapolis.


LukeWorks was instrumental in the early research and writing that led to philanthropic funding from The Joyce Foundation creating this initiative. Called upon for our expertise in workforce and education program design, as well as policy change at the state level, LukeWorks has continued its involvement on the leadership team of this initiative.