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Milwaukee gets construction training money

By Sean Ryan

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.


  1. David A. Wessely

    At first look the concept appears beneficial for all. A few issues to look closer at.

    The quality of work actually completed on the buildings. Much of the RE Bust could have come from the ‘Flip this house’ arena. From viewing many of these ‘Flipped homes’, only cosmetic work was completed and the real ‘Bricks & Mortar’ maintainance was overlooked or masked in in a non valued method.

    The quality of products/materials also should match the level of quality the “ORIGINAL STRUCTURE” was built with. Bathrooms needing the ceramic tile fixed should not be repaired with dense-glass or plastic coated wall paneling

    Will the end-out occupant be an ‘Owner’ or a ‘Renter’. The former style resident class has historically not been structure friendly and then the building falls backwards as to possibly worst condition.

    The most important isue would be the instructors. The level of experiance and ablility to convey “Tradesmen” mentality is essential!

    Only my opinion, I could be wrong.

  2. I’m a recent HS graduate strong and able bodied,eager to learn construction

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