Milwaukee Job Corps is training the next generation of Workers
by Reggie Newson, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
I had the opportunity on Tuesday, January 31, to visit the Milwaukee Job Corps campus, accompanied by DWD Deputy Secretary Jonathan Barry and Executive Assistant Georgia Maxwell.
The Milwaukee Job Corps campus, at 6665 N. 60th St. in Milwaukee, is a full-time vocational training program for low-income students from age 16 to 24. Students receive education, training and job placement after successfully completing the program.
The first students started at the campus in January 2011, and it was great to see the campus in action a year later.
I was pleased to see that the Milwaukee Job Corps is at capacity, and takes new students each week to fill the slots of students who depart from the program.
And, while the U.S. Department of Labor-funded center accepts students from different states, the majority of the students are from Wisconsin and, of those, over half are right from Milwaukee!
And, given that almost 72 percent of the Milwaukee Job Corps students are Black, the center plays a role in addressing the unacceptably high unemployment rate among Black Milwaukeeans.
I commend Milwaukee Job Corps Center Director James E. Roberts Jr. and his team for the work they do to prepare young adults for careers in manufacturing, health care and construction.
The Job Corps program has been training young adults across the country since 1964 and today has placement rate of more than 80 percent in either an education program, entry-level job or the military. I am very familiar with the benefits of the Job Corps program, as my father completed training in 1969 as a welder through a Job Corps program in Tennessee.
The Milwaukee Job Corps also operates a GED program and two other high school programs for students with the goal of ensuring every qualified student graduates with a high school diploma or equivalent.
Preparing a new generation of workers for in-demand occupations like manufacturing is critical to Wisconsin’s economic future, and this is reaffirmed through the new College and Workforce Readiness Council that Governor Walker recently created under his “Wisconsin Working” plan. Under the Governor’s direction, our agency will partner with other groups to advance efforts to bolster college and career readiness throughout Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee Job Corps Center is one of many resources available to young people in Milwaukee and beyond. If you are interested or want more information, you can call (800) 733-JOBS or visit the organization’s website at http://milwaukee.jobcorps.gov/home.aspx.
The focus on preparing young people for jobs that employers need will be critical to lowering the unemployment rate among Black residents in Milwaukee and elsewhere.