Theodore Lipscomb
Press Release

Chairman Lipscomb Commends Abele on Uplift MKE Proposal

UpLift MKE Similar to Ready to Work Initiative Created by Lipscomb, Former Supervisor Eyon Biddle, Sr.

By - Sep 22nd, 2015 01:40 pm

Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., today said he was proud that County Executive Chris Abele has embraced a workforce initiative similar to one that he and former Supervisor Eyon Biddle, Sr., created several years ago.

“The program proposed by the County Executive is built on the solid foundation laid by Milwaukee County’s seminal workforce development investment in 2012 to create the Ready to Work Initiative,” Lipscomb said. “Ready to Work invested $1 million in workforce development and resulted in more than 500 individuals being trained and placed in jobs with an average wage of $15 an hour.”

Ready to Work (R2W) connected residents who are ready to work with job opportunities by ensuring they have the needed qualifications and skills. R2W focused on Milwaukee County residents who have demonstrated prior success such as attaining a high school diploma or GED and maintaining a valid driver’s license, yet are still unable to secure family supporting jobs.

The 2012 adopted budget approved an appropriation of $1 million from future land sales to establish the “Ready to Work” program with Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/Big Step (WRTP/Big Step) to provide educational training and on-the-job work experience and $400,000 in 2014 in cooperation with the Workforce Funding Alliance.

Lipscomb called Abele’s program “the next level” in workforce development for Milwaukee County.

The County Executive’s proposal, which is titled UpLift MKE, is similar to R2W and will use funding for a jobs development model that offers workers the opportunity to build careers by “providing opportunities and removing traditional barriers to successful employment.”

Initial funding for UpLift MKE would come from $400,000 in County land proceeds, and the County will work with Milwaukee Public Schools, MATC and the City of Milwaukee to procure more funding.

“Money for the original R2W investment and these subsequent investments resulted from budget amendments I’m proud to have authored,” Lipscomb said. “It was with the support of the County Board that funds were set aside for economic development. I am proud to have helped to create this program, and I am pleased that the County Executive has embraced this initiative.”

Lipscomb said he looks forward to receiving the details and forwarding them to the County Board for review.

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