Madison – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today announced the first meeting of Governor Walker’s Task Force on Minority Unemployment met Wednesday, April 25, at the Northcott Neighborhood House, 2460 N. 6th Street, Milwaukee.
During this initial meeting, members discussed the group’s purpose and scope, highlighted areas of expertise represented on the panel, and solidified future steps toward recommending a skills pipeline to connect unemployed minorities with employment opportunities in the Milwaukee area.
The task force will operate as part of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment to develop strategies and action steps that address minority unemployment, including the rates of black male employment in metro Milwaukee, which a recent University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study stated was 44.7 percent for working-age black males ages 16 to 64 in 2010.
“The high minority unemployment in the Milwaukee community demands solutions now, and I am confident that the stakeholders comprising this bipartisan task force can work together to get results that will reduce unemployment, especially of minority males in Milwaukee,” Secretary Newson said.
“Governor Walker, along with Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch, are committed to attaining these goals to improve economic development, support entrepreneurship, strengthen workforce training, promote personal responsibility and strengthen families in Milwaukee.”
Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and state Representative Elizabeth Coggs, a Milwaukee Democrat, are co-chairs of the task force. Gerard Randall, former president of the Private Industry Council, will serve as vice chair.
Remaining members include Walker Administration Cabinet members, state Representatives from both political parties and a variety of Milwaukee-area community leaders with strong backgrounds in both employment and minority issues.
“This is a call to action to make real change that will address the crisis of black male unemployment in Milwaukee,” Coggs said. “I am eager to make progress through the work of this Task Force.”
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