The city of Milwaukee has nailed down the money it needs to start a more than $1 million new program to train people to build.
The program, called the Milwaukee Builds Partnership, will recruit unemployed city residents with few job skills and give them classroom and on-the-job construction training.
“It’s an effort to tackle the problems of some of the hardest to serve,” said Donald Sykes, president and CEO of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.
Sykes said the city will start recruiting trainees for the program within two weeks.
The program is for people who face multiple barriers to landing a job, including the inability to afford to be trained at a technical college and lack of work experience and education, he said.
Two Milwaukee community groups—Milwaukee Christian Center and Northcott Neighborhood House—will oversee the training. The training will include working on foreclosed, single family houses and possibly some larger buildings owned by the Housing authority of the City of Milwaukee, Sykes said.
At the end of the training, which could last up to a year, each worker should be ready to hunt for a construction job or become an apprentice, he said.
The state and city will dedicate $500,000 apiece to pay for the trainees’ wages, construction costs and the wages of trainers and supervisors.
The money is enough for at least 80 people to join the training program, according to a press release from the state.