Employ Milwaukee UpLift program has strongest quarter to date

83 residents found employment through program in Q2

UpLift Mke, a workforce development program run by Employ Milwaukee and funded by the county, reported it helped 83 Milwaukee County residents find work during the second quarter of the year.

The program allows employers to use Employ Milwaukee as their first source for job posting and Employ Milwaukee identifies job seekers. The county then pays Employ Milwaukee, formerly known as the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, $2,000 for every person hired from the 10 zip codes with the highest unemployment rate and $1,000 for each person hired from zip codes with above average unemployment.

Sixty-five of the 83 people who found work through the program during the quarter were from the top 10 unemployment zip codes. Overall, the group had an average starting salary of $14.93 per hour. In a memo to county supervisors, James Tarantino, Milwaukee County economic development director, said the program found people jobs in a range of industries, including large and small manufacturers, hospitality, customer service and food service.

The second quarter results set new highs for total hires and payments to Employ Milwaukee at $148,000. Previous highs of 65 placements and $116,000 were set in the second quarter of 2016. The average wage was behind only the first quarter of 2016, when the 38 participants averaged $15.03.

Since the program started at the beginning of 2016 it has placed 309 individuals and the county has paid Employ Milwaukee $559,000.

The county allocated $500,000 in funding for the program in the 2017 budget and Employ Milwaukee has earned $236,000 through the first half of the year.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.