Why does the MCC want to join the LSS organization?
Both the MCC and LSS organizations have a unified mission to serve and celebrate the diversity in our community, especially the refugee and immigrant populations who live in and around Sioux Falls. The MCC recognizes the long, successful history and quality of LSS and its programs, as well as the leadership and structure it has in place. By joining the LSS organization, the MCC can direct more focus towards its primary purpose of engaging and celebrating the many diverse communities in Sioux Falls, because the administrative needs, like finance, HR, technology, are incorporated into the LSS’s administrative services. The MCC gains stability for long-term success, and the synergy that is created by aligning together, better serves the community.
The spirit of the MCC’s mission, “to provide experiences and opportunities for all people to learn, celebrate and share through our community’s cultural diversity,” will thrive within the LSS’s vision that “all South Dakotans will be healthy, safe and accepted” regardless of their background, beliefs, or ethnicity.
How will the Lutheran roots of LSS change MCC?
It won’t. LSS has been the primary organization to support the resettlement of refugees of all nations and religions into the city and state for many decades, and has a proven commitment to serving all individuals and families without regard to religion.
How will the transition happen?
The MCC name and its programs and services will become a component of the LSS Center for New Americans. Over the next 30-60 days, the MCC offices will move into the Center for New Americans on 6th Street and a new vision for the existing MCC office space will be explored. The Coliseum, as an important and valued community asset within MCC’s downtown work, will continue to be used for educational and cultural events, with less focus on its rental for general and personal use.
Effective October 1, 2022, the LSS organization will assume daily management of the MCC organization and a transition plan will be finalized. The MCC Board of Directors will govern the MCC organization throughout the transition. At the conclusion, the MCC organization’s independent status will be dissolved, and the board will become an LSS Advisory Board to provide continued guidance to the MCC work.
How will the MCC programs and services be affected?
All the existing programs and services, and the new programs in development, will continue within the LSS organization, with the exception of the Career Closet. Because there are other services like this in the community, that program will be closed with the move to the Center for New Americans.
The programs that overlap will be combined at some level, and the best practices captured to create even stronger programming. Most programs and services will remain under the MCC name within the Center for New Americans.
- Community Engagement. With the hire of a new Supervisor and Coordinator, MCC’s focus on community engagement will continue to be a primary focus. Building trusted relationships with the various diverse and ethnic communities is at the core of MCC’s work. An updated Driver’s Education program and partnered After-School programming, both in development, will continue to evolve and be implemented under this leadership.
- Festival of Cultures. This annual community celebration will continue each spring and may incorporate other cultural events held by LSS; like Taste of Cultures.
- Interpreter/Translation Services. Offered by both organizations. The staff and client relationships will be rolled together, and the processes updated to combine into one program to serve the community.
- Workforce Development. Offered by both organizations but with different purposes. The MCC program will extend a community focus to LSS’s refugee resettlement workforce program.
- The Coliseum. This important downtown community space will focus on events and activities that are educational, cultural and community in nature. An evaluation and exploration of the use of the space for the long term will be included in the MCC program planning.
How is staff affected by the changes?
Each of the existing MCC staff has been given an opportunity to consider positions within the MCC program at LSS or within other LSS programs. Because of the efficiencies created in the new structure, one existing MCC position will be altered, and one position will no longer be needed. The MCC and LSS leadership are committed to assisting both employees in identifying job opportunities within LSS and the community.
The employee benefits offered by LSS are better and provide more options than what the MCC staff currently have.
How are our partnerships affected?
MCC’s partnerships with the City of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County are unaffected by the change. Both partners have been involved and informed throughout the exploration process.
Current funders and supporters will remain important partners for continuing the MCC programs and services, and will find greater satisfaction in the efficiencies created through the new alignment.
The feedback from the community has been very positive since the announcement of a possible alignment with LSS in May, 2022. While there have been some nostalgic feelings shared, the idea of these two organizations aligning together to establish greater synergy and results, has been well received.
As in the past, community discussions will be organized to provide opportunity for interested individuals to learn more about the transition, to get questions answered, and to offer insight and ideas that help support the transition.