Supervisors Eyon Biddle and Theo Lipscomb made a major announcement of some much needed good news:
Milwaukee County Supervisors Eyon Biddle, Sr. and Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., joined by a coalition of Milwaukee County Supervisors, officially rolled out the Biddle-Lipscomb Ready to Work jobs initiative this afternoon in Milwaukee.
The initiative aims to create job access for Milwaukee County residents who have demonstrated prior success, such as attaining a high school diploma (or GED) and maintaining a valid Driver’s License, yet cannot seem to reach the high-wage, family-supporting jobs that are currently available.
Training for the initiative will be provided by the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership & BIG STEP in collaboration with Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee Public Schools, and Milwaukee Area Building and Construction Trades.
“Our congressional and state leaders are failing us with hyper-partisan politics that almost always end up in gridlock. This political wrangling does nothing to help people who need jobs – and hope – the most. When I ran for office, I told the people that I would fight hard for jobs. Now, after six months in office, I am presenting the Biddle-Lipscomb Ready to Work initiative. We have a serious jobs crisis. It requires bold action. I ask my colleagues to support this measure. I also call on County Executive to support this initiative and have his Economic Development Director help bring this to life. Let’s get people in our communities back to work ASAP,” said Supervisor Biddle.
The initiative will provide training opportunities for work-ready individuals to gain access to County and private-sector positions with clear advancement opportunities. The partners involved will provide the educational training and on-the-job work experience needed to allow Milwaukee County residents to advance to the next level on the path to higher-level positions.
“As a major employer with significant needs for skilled workers, Milwaukee County needs to invest in Workforce Development,” said Supervisor Lipscomb. “This will also better prepare our citizens to compete for jobs on our public works projects. Currently, most of the wages paid on those projects go to workers who live outside Milwaukee County.”
Through Ready to Work, the program will identify current opportunities, create new entry-level jobs and provide work experience opportunities with a sustainable career pathway.
Supervisors Biddle and Lipscomb, in conjunction with the County Executive, are also championing an enhanced Economic Development Fund within Milwaukee County as part of their integrated economic development strategy. The fund would allow for some of the net revenue generated from land sales to be deposited into the fund and used for a number of initiatives, including:
• Minority Business Working Capital
• Small & Minority Business Revolving Loan Fund/Contract Financing
• Housing Development
• Neighborhood Business Development
• Environmental Mitigation/Brownfields
• Park East Redevelopment Compact
“It’s conceivable that some of these individuals will be able to utilize the economic development fund through the skills they acquire through the Ready to Work Initiative to start their own businesses,” Supervisor Lipscomb said. “Not only are we developing our next future workforce, we are also grooming future entrepreneurs.”
“With additional resources from private foundations and organizations we hope to expand the number of participants and job placement opportunities. Our initial investment of $1 million will give us leverage with private partners to enhance the program to its fullest potential,” said Supervisor Biddle.
“We will continue to provide leadership in the areas of jobs and economic development. We will train and place 1,000 people into jobs and career path opportunities,” Supervisor Biddle added. “We will continue to fight for the people who need help the most. As a result, we will give people hope for a brighter future in Milwaukee County.”
At a time when so many of our so-called leaders are hell-bent in making Milwaukee and Wisconsin a sad place where no one would want to work or live and where the only way to catch a break is to be a well-moneyed special interest, this is most welcome news indeed.
More information about the initiative can be found here.
For years, Milwaukee County led the way in helping creating jobs and helping getting people trained for those jobs. Then, in 2007, directly due to the incompetence of Scott Walker, that program had to be taken away from the county and given to the city. Walker simply proved he didn’t know how to create jobs, just as he is doing now as governor.
Kudos to Biddle and Lipscomb and the other supervisors who are supporting this initiative in making Milwaukee County a place to be proud of again.
It’s amazing what can happen when you have supervisors who actually dedicate themselves to their jobs. Perhaps Biddle and Lipscomb could take Sanfelippo and Cesarz under their wings and give them lessons on how to be better supervisors.