Milwaukee leaders announce 350 construction jobs for out-of-work residents

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by Lane Kimble

MILWAUKEE -- Mayor Tom Barrett, city aldermen and  workforce training teams laid out their plans to offer 350 city residents work in construction jobs Monday.

"We know that there is a lot of construction work on the horizon," Barrett said.

The largest project sits with Northwestern Mutual Life's new $450 million tower, scheduled for completion in 2017.  Milwaukee will use $500,000 in tax incremental district funds it provided for NML to pay for this program.

"WRTP/BIGSTEP is in direct discussions with Northwestern Mutual to determine what specific jobs and skills will be  needed there," Barrett said.

One-hundred fifty people will work on the tower project and another 200 hires will train for work at other construction  sites around town.
 

"The success of this project is not just in the erection of a beautiful building, but a community benefit that reverberates across the city," First-District Alderman Ashanti Hamilton said.

The Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership plans to host training and placement workshops in different aldermanic  districts every month.  They hope to give at least 1,000 people the chance to earn one of the 350 available jobs.

"What skills do I have for doing some of these jobs, what barriers do I have," Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board leader Linda Stewart said.  "That's why all of these  information sessions are so important."

"People can get into these jobs and have a career," Common Council President Michael Murphy said.  "A career in which these are excellent paying jobs that you can't  offshore them."

The city also expects to work with contractors to help set up new jobs for laid-off construction workers and union members.

"We've been preparing for a while," Seventh-District Alderman Willie Wade said.  "Now it's time to put the rubber to the road and get out there."
 

People interested in attending the workshops should call WRTP at 414-342-9787.  You can also visit WRTP via this website.

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