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Milwaukee County wants to change way it pays for workforce development

Milwaukee County is looking to change the way it pays for workforce development.

The Board of Supervisors’ Economic and Community Development Committee on Monday unanimously approved a $400,000 investment in the Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance Inc. The resolution now goes to the full County Board.

The alliance is a Milwaukee nonprofit group that organizes and distributes public and private donations to work training programs, whose contributors direct where the money goes. The group also collects federal matching money from its parent organization, Boston-based National Fund for Workforce Solutions, and other organizations.

Teig Whaley-Smith, the county’s economic development director, said it is an extension of the county’s Ready to Work Initiative. It began in August 2012 when the county gave $1 million to the local construction and manufacturing training group Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/Big Step to implement a program that helped unemployed and underemployed Milwaukee County residents train for and find work.

Supervisor Theodore Lipscomb Sr., who helped create Ready to Work, said the program has exceeded its goals. He said it has provided training for about 1,000 Milwaukee County residents.

But with the contract ending Jan. 31, Whaley-Smith said switching to a program that included more employment sectors and increased the overall money available for workforce development was the most efficient way to continue Ready to Work.

About Molly Willms

Molly Willms covers Milwaukee County for The Daily Reporter. She can be reached at [email protected] or 414-225-1842.

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