Church Women United (CWU) Milwaukee Unit, held a Life Membership Recognition Day as part of its April general meeting recently at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 2207 N. 2nd St. Approximately 169 Christian women from 16 area churches of various denominations were recognized for their contributions to their faith, church and community. CWU is a national ecumenical movement of Christian women witnessing to unity and faith in Jesus Christ through worship, study, action and celebration. CWU celebrates the diversity that enriches the faith community by rejoicing in their oneness of Christ, which transcends differences and empowers Christians to work together for a society of peace and justice. The CWU Milwaukee unit was founded in 1921 as a channel through which Christian women might serve the community in endeavors no single denomination could undertake alone. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
The Black Child Development Institute of Milwaukee (BCDI Milwaukee) hosted its 6th Annual Recognition in Community Service Banquet on November 8, 2012 at the Hilton Garden Inn on Milwaukee’s northwest side.
In prior years, BCDI has recognized individuals in specific service categories such as Education, Advocacy, and the Arts.
This year, it decided to recognize the Child Care Profession. Because this profession has received so much negative publicity over the past four years, BCDI Milwaukee decided to showcase and celebrate those who have done so much for so many children and families.
The goal was to have 100 providers at the Banquet. To accomplish this, BCDI Milwaukee provided scholarships through corporate sponsorship from the following organizations: 4C-For Children, Johnson Controls, the Supporting Families Together Association, US Bank, and YoungStar Consortium. Many
of these organizations also had tables with valuable information. Tables were also provided by the UW-Milwaukee Center for Early Childhood Professional Development, and the MATC Early Childhood Department.
Throughout the evening, many words of expression let the child care professionals know they are supported.
Earl Ingram, Jr. of WMCS 1290 was the emcee, and Erica Lofton the youth soloist. BCDI Milwaukee also introduced three pioneers of the child care profession to the group: Pam Boulton, Bessie Gray, and Peggy Hardy.
Each provider also received a gift bag that included resources they will be able to use in their child care programs.
The Banquet was videotaped by Keith Stanley, who in turn was being taped by a crew from PBS’ “Frontline” with Bill Moyers. Look for segments of our event on Frontline in spring of 2013.
The evening was a tremendous success. And BCDI Milwaukee is looking forward to its 7th Annual Banquet in 2013, and the opportunity to recognize others who continue to make a difference in the lives of children and families through advocacy and education.
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Bader Grants to address Milwaukee Jobs (Photo: hbf.jpg)
The Helen Bader Foundation (HBF), a leading philanthropic Milwaukee-based foundation, announced today its Board of Directors has approved $855,000 in funding for 20 Milwaukee workforce development organizations. Of these 20 grants, 15 specifically address populations in Milwaukee facing unique employment barriers that are often overlooked, such as adults with disabilities, those with vision impairments, and low-income minorities.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) recently reported the metro Milwaukee area unemployment rate stood at 6.9 percent for September 2012, however, some segments of the local population have unemployment rates more than four times this rate.
According to Eric Grosso, Senior Economist at the DWD, the most recent unemployment statistics from the 2011 American Community Survey estimate that, in metro-Milwaukee, unemployment among the labor pool of adults with disabilities is 25.8%, for those with vision impairments is 22.4%, and among African American males is 29.4%.
HBF recognizes that while there are current unemployment initiatives and services that assist the general population, there are segments of the population that need a different approach in order to bridge the unemployment gap. This is one of the primary reasons HBF is concentrating its current workforce development efforts on serving populations within Milwaukee that face unique barriers to employment.
“We all know that people are unemployed, but the system treats unemployment as a one-size-fits-all situation and that’s not the reality of it,” said Jerry Roberts, program officer and manager of HBF’s efforts to address workforce development. “We need to address the many, many barriers to employment in our community in order to fully address the unemployment situation as a whole.”
The United Cerebral Palsy of Southeastern Wisconsin (UCP) is just one of the 15 organizations HBF has chosen to fund for its direct services to the unemployed. With nearly a quarter of Milwaukee’s disabled adults unable to find work, UCP plans to expand its existing program that targets six of the city’s poorest zip codes, to help job-seekers who have a range of disabilities find and maintain employment. As sole supporter of this expansion, HBF is taking on a unique opportunity to reach out to Milwaukee’s disabled population and focus on identifying those individuals who want to work, but for whom the traditional work search channels are not effective.
Similar to UCP, Wiscraft, Inc. provides workforce development programming for a population with a major barrier, Milwaukee County’s blind and visually impaired adults. Wiscraft’s “Beyond Vision” program provides skills training and personal development through its light manufacturing, machine shop, and other operations. The new HBF grant will enhance Beyond Vision’s approach to providing marketable, transferrable skills to these adults by expanding its call center and customer service operations, which provide contract services for a number of local corporations.
While many of the 15 programs that HBF is funding address specific populations that may have some job experience, Operation DREAM’s “Learning to DREAM” program attempts to reach Milwaukee’s African American males, ages 11-17, during the crucial stages of preparing and entering the workforce. This program provides education, mentoring, job training, placement and college visits. It also offers a safe haven for many of the youth and implements positive motivation through their development of skills and exposure to employment.
“It’s important that we reach youth well before they enter the workforce,” said Roberts. “The basic skills and positive attitudes they develop will not just prepare them for their first real job, but also help them build a solid career path.”
Milwaukee, WI – Today, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4) extended her support for our veterans, service members and their families in recognition of Veteran’s Day.
“Every year, we join together to remember those who have and continue to serve our country around the world in the name of freedom and democracy – especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. They honorably carry out their duties for their county so that we might enjoy the freedoms that we hold so dear. The debt we owe them and their families is immeasurable, and I believe we have a moral responsibility to keep our promise to all of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and Coast Guardsmen who have served our nation.
“Now, more than ever, we must renew our commitment to keep our promises to the nation’s more than 2 million troops and reservists, their families, and 23 million veterans, including nearly 400,000 in Wisconsin. As they return home, the President and Democrats in Congress are focused on taking major steps to help them obtain good jobs.
“I remain extremely concerned about the mental and physical health needs of our veterans, including those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suicide remain disturbingly high. For far too many of them, the battle doesn’t end when they leave the battlefield. We must also continue to shine a spotlight on the health needs of military families, ensuring that they receive the proper care and services upon returning home from these conflicts.
“Additionally, over 12 percent of our nation’s veterans who have served since the September 11, 2001 attacks are currently unemployed and hundreds of thousands of veterans are finding themselves homeless on any given day. It is inexcusable for Congress to stand idly by as an additional 40,000 estimated troops come home to a dismal and challenging job market at the end of the year. They have sacrificed so much for this country fighting on the battlefield, they should not have to fight for a job when they return home. We must provide them with the necessary resources and support that will enable them to rejoin the workforce.
“Last fall, Congress enacted President Obama’s veterans hiring initiative, to expand job opportunities for our veterans through tax credits for businesses that hire service members. The VOW to Hire Heroes Act also includes additional provisions to boost hiring for veterans and provide them with the training they need to find a job in civilian life. With this law, America can welcome our soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and Coast Guardsmen back into their communities as entrepreneurs, small business owners, and workers. We must also explore the idea of a Veterans Job Corps to help returning veterans find pathways to employment.
“Here in Milwaukee, I continue to work with the local Veteran’s Administration to ensure that our hospital has the capacity and resources to treat the needs of our returning heroes as well as our heroes from previous generations.
“The best way to honor all of our military troops, veterans and their families around the world who continue to proudly serve our country would be to further dedicate ourselves to providing them with the necessary support and resources that they deserve. I remain committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that the needs of our veterans are taken care of.”