Milwaukee County and the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB), the Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee Public Schools, and the Milwaukee Bucks are partnering on a new initiative called UpLift MKE.
UpLift MKE will use Milwaukee County money to fund an innovative jobs development model that will offer workers the chance to build a career by providing opportunities and removing traditional barriers to successful employment. County Executive Abele launched the UpLift MKE program with an initial investment of $400,000 that was funded by proceeds from the sale of unused County land.
UpLift MKE will utilize a “sector-based intermediary approach,” where MAWIB will work with employers, trainers, and community organizations to match job candidates with targeted training and available opportunities, administer funds, and track data to measure effectiveness.
To maximize the benefits provide to Milwaukee’s most disadvantaged residents, UpLift MKE will utilize a Pay for Performance model of employee recruitment. Bonus funds are provided to the Coordinating Agency when it successfully places individuals who reside in those zip codes that have the highest unemployment rates. Milwaukee’s most disadvantaged zip code, 53206, has an official unemployment rate of over 30%.
UpLift MKE will use a variety of tools to assist job seekers and benefit the community. Throughout their employment period, UpLift MKE will provide support for job candidates, guiding them through the process, holding them accountable, and assisting with related challenges, like transportation. UpLift MKE will also place a special focus on parents who owe child support, offering fathers and mothers who want the opportunity to improve their economic security. Lauded by employers, the UpLift MKE design spreads the benefits of economic development to those in need without reducing the financial viability of new constructions projects.
“From the Park East to the Couture to Northwestern Mutual, I’m proud that Milwaukee is experiencing a genuine construction boom,” County Executive Abele said. “I’m even prouder that UpLift MKE will help ensure that the benefits of this boom spread throughout all of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. We’re not just offering a job, we’re offering a career path and the support that’s needed to move up the ladder.”