October 17, 2023
County Executive David Crowley Announces Return of Occupational Skills Training to the Milwaukee County Community Reintegration Center
MILWAUKEE – County Executive David Crowley, along with Employ Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Community Justice Council, and Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), are announcing the return of occupational skills training to the Milwaukee County Community Reintegration Center (CRC), formerly known as the House of Correction.
This is the first time the CRC is providing on-site training since 2008. Through funding from the State of Wisconsin, the CRC has developed a welding classroom at its facility with state-of-the-art welding booths and equipment that will help provide residents with a quality skilled-training curriculum. CRC residents will now have the opportunity to earn a digital badge in welding, college credits, and an opportunity to pursue employment and a welding career post-release.
“We must work to ensure that people who enter the Community Reintegration Center leave in a better position than when they first arrived. Allowing CRC residents to access job training and career pathway resources in the trades can help do just that,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “We know that economic hardship is one of the top reasons we see residents enter the system. Collaborative partnerships like this between Milwaukee County, Employ Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Community Justice Council, and MATC will help folks learn invaluable skills in the welding industry that make them competitive in the marketplace, set them up for a second chance upon re-entry, and decrease the likelihood they reenter the justice system.”
Integrating a broader offering of occupational skill training at the CRC will help ensure that transitioning residents are prepared to meet the needs of the local labor markets with the skills valued by employers. Employ Milwaukee will provide preemployment services for residents within 20 to 180 days from their scheduled release date, as well as a direct connection to the public workforce system and American Job Center services for residents post release. Employ Milwaukee will also provide digital literacy and job readiness training for students.
“One of my goals as Superintendent has been to destigmatize the facility and better align it with its mission of rehabilitation, which began with renaming it the Community Reintegration Center to better reflect our strategy of helping residents move beyond challenges to become socially and economically successful post-release. Providing preemployment and occupational skills training on site furthers this goal,” said Superintendent Chantell Jewell, Milwaukee County Community Reintegration Center.
“Preemployment, cognitive behavioral therapy, and connections to post-employment resources using a trauma informed care approach have been proven to reduce repeat offenses. Our partnership with Milwaukee County CRC and MATC supports resident success by connecting them to a career pathway into good jobs, while also meeting our local employers’ demand for skilled talent,” said Chytania Brown, President & CEO of Employ Milwaukee.
“MATC is a leader in education as part of reintegration efforts and we are proud to participate in this partnership to provide occupational skills training at the CRC,” said MATC President Vicki J. Martin. “We know that education and training in a reintegration setting are proven to increase employment opportunities, connect individuals to family-sustaining wages and reduce recidivism. This is an important opportunity to transform the lives of individual students, provide skilled workers for a high-demand field like welding, and lift up the entire community we share and serve.”
Learn more about the Milwaukee County Community Reintegration Center HERE.