An alliance inked by the African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) of Greater Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) can help create jobs and promote business development in economically strained areas of Milwaukee, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton said today.
MICAH and the AACC have agreed to create and maintain a member quality assurance program to train and vet contractors capable of doing work on single and multi-family residential properties, small commercial facilities and churches. MICAH has agreed to tout those successfully enrolled in the program to their member churches. The pilot program, called the Certified Professional Grade Contractor Program, will begin accepting applicants in November with an anticipated start date of December 1.
Alderman Hamilton said the alliance can be a job creator that can help begin to slowly bridge the economic divide that separates too many city neighborhoods from areas just a mile or two away in surrounding communities. “The divide that separates much of Milwaukee from our neighbors is staggering in its breadth, but I believe this program and the alliance formed by the African American Chamber and MICAH can help us narrow that divide,” he said.
“Both organizations are blessed with people who are dedicated to bolstering the economic empowerment of the Milwaukee community,” Alderman Hamilton said. “I am in full support of this collaboration and welcome their help in addressing the unemployment and economic disparities that are crippling our city.
MICAH and the AACC hope the effort will be expanded following the pilot program to include possibly other ethnic and small business chambers, as well as expanding the referral program to professional service providers, such as architects, lawyers, barbershops and beauty salons, and other personal care services.
The initiative will be discussed at the AACC’s business briefing at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, September 30) at the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, 2338 N. 27th St. A copy of the signed memorandum of understanding will be on display at the briefing and will be permanently on display at the AACC.