by Reggie Newson, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
If you are seeking employment in the Milwaukee area, there are many resources available to help you succeed. Last week, I outlined just a few of the many organizations that are located in the region to assist all job seekers, including Black Milwaukeeans who are unemployed and looking to apply for that next great opportunit
But before applying, it is vital that individuals prepare themselves. That means more than registering with Job Center of Wisconsin, completing training and getting your resume in shape.
That also means taking ownership of one’s own actions, both past and present, and acknowledging previous accomplishments while demonstrating growth from any missteps along the way.
To this end, here are some suggested action steps:
- Get a valid driver’s license. If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, there are steps you can take to obtain or restore a driver’s license. The Center for Driver’s License Recovery and Employability Center is located at Milwaukee Area Technical College and can be an important resource. If you never obtained your driver’s license, your local Division of Motor Vehicles has information on the steps you need to take to get a valid driver’s license.
- Clean up your record. If you are behind in child support payments, have a lengthy list of traffic tickets or have a criminal record, organizations like Project Return, the Milwaukee Urban League, Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative and Career Youth Development Inc. can help you take steps that will show prospective employers you have learned from your past and are ready to be a productive, accountable and gainfully employed member of the workforce today.
- Stay drug-free. Remember that some employers require drug testing at the start of employment and can detect evidence of recreational drug use or drug addiction. If you have used recreational drugs in the past, don’t use them now or in the future. If you are dealing with a substance abuse problem, get help. Organizations such as Community Advocates and the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative can provide information on local organizations that have alcohol and drug treatment programs.
- Check your wardrobe. You need to dress professionally when you are applying and interviewing for jobs. Wearing fitted clothes such as a shirt with collar, pants and dress shoes will tell prospective employers that you take the job search seriously, which means you will take the job seriously if hired.
- Work on the basics. Time between jobs is an excellent period to work on skills like making eye contact during interviews, delivering short verbal pitches of your abilities, and preparing answers to interview questions.
At the DWD, we are working with partners at the state, regional and local level to put forth a plan that will enhance Milwaukee’s employment and economic condition for the community, including for Black job seekers.
This unity of purpose and action will be successfully only if you actively participate as well.
Don’t wait for us to reach out to you. Get moving on the steps you need to take, and the Department of Workforce Development, along with our many partners in the region, will help you along the path toward success.