Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

Meet the City’s Millennial Task Force

Presenting the 15 members and challenges (Millennial brain drain!) they must address.

By - Feb 3rd, 2020 03:47 pm
Milwaukee City Hall. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee City Hall. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The city’s newly formed Millennial Task Force will soon meet to formulate strategies to address “brain drain” in Milwaukee. It has plenty to work on.

A 2019 city report found that the number of individuals aged 25 to 34 living in Milwaukee decreased by 1.8 percent between 2010 and 2015 while it increased 3.8 percent nationwide. A 2019 CityLab report on the 50 largest cities found that the City of Milwaukee had the fourth-worst population growth and ninth-worst job growth on a percentage basis after data regarding the metro area was filtered out from U.S. Census Bureau reports.

The 16-member body is charged with generating a report by June 30th that identifies strategies to attract and retain talented, young individuals. The effort is intended to generate potential legislative changes the Common Council could make.

Millennials are individuals born between 1981 and 1996. The oldest members of the generation are now 39, while the youngest will turn 24 this year. Younger individuals, including the majority of college graduates this year, are part of Generation Z.

The task force was created in November by legislation introduced by Alderman Cavalier Johnson, himself a millennial and the youngest member of the Common Council.

But Johnson credits the City Clerk‘s Office of Workforce Development for doing much of the “heavy lifting” to get the initiative off the ground. That included helping identify firms and individuals that wanted to participate. Johnson told Urban Milwaukee the goal was to get a “diverse smattering of Millennials from Milwaukee.”

Johnson himself won’t serve on the committee. “I want for this to be more organic,” Johnson told Urban Milwaukee in an interview.

The enabling legislation calls for 16 members to serve on the committee, including two individuals from inclusion-focused young professional group Social X, two from social architecture firm NEWaukee, two representatives of the Bridge the City podcast and four past winners of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 under 40 awards. There will also be designees from the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee Urban League, Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Wheel & Sprocket and Wauwatosa-based Galbraith Carnahan Architects.

Galbraith Carnahan and Wheel & Sprocket effectively received multiple nominees by nominating their representatives and individuals qualified as 40 under 40 recipients. The City of Milwaukee has a member on the task force through 2019 40 under 40 winner and building construction inspector Jezamil Arroyo-Vega. And Kacee Ochalek is also a city employee, but was appointed to the task force by Bridge the City.

The group will first meet on February 28th at 9 a.m. at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.


The Milwaukee Urban League has yet to appoint its designated member.

UPDATE: On February 17th, the Milwaukee Urban League appointed Tiffany Henry to serve on the task force. Henry leads Senator Tammy Baldwin‘s Milwaukee office.

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Categories: City Hall, People

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