The Joseph Project, a program that for the past five years has provided job training and transportation for Milwaukee County job seekers, is expanding to serve Sheboygan County residents.
Under a new partnership of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. and Pentecostals of Sheboygan County, the program will provide county residents with soft-skills training and transportation to job opportunities within the community.
Joseph Project began in 2015 as an initiative of Greater Praise Church of God in Milwaukee with help from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s office. Until now, efforts have been primarily focused on transporting Milwaukee County residents to jobs in Sheboygan County.
The first Joseph Project Sheboygan County class will run Jan. 27-30. The classes will be offered quarterly.
“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with all of our volunteers to offer the Joseph Project to Sheboygan County residents,” said Pastor John Putnam of POSC. “We believe that this project will change the lives of individuals and families within our community.”
Program participants will complete week-long classes focused on time management, financial management, conflict resolution, teamwork and spirituality. Participants are then offered job interviews with area employers.
The program also provides participants with transportation to work for their first 30 days of employment.
The Sheboygan County metro area has the third highest concentration of manufacturing in the United States, accounting for 33% of employment in the area. Ray York, entrepreneurship specialist with the SCEDC, said the county consistently has between 2,000 and 3,000 jobs available at any given time.
“That’s been an issue for the longest time,” York said. “We try to find ways to help out manufacturers specifically. How do we help them recruit people to the area? So, with this program, we know we have a group of people within the county looking for careers that have good paying jobs, and manufacturers offer that. But often they run into a wall where (prospective employees) don’t have the skills to interview for this type of job. So we’re trying to fill that gap.”
Joseph Project Sheboygan County is being spearheaded by POSC with assistance from Johnson’s office, Job Center of Wisconsin, Department of Workforce Development, Johnsonville Sausage, Nemak, Plymouth Foam, Consumer Credit Counseling Services, Sheboygan County Health and Human Services and the SCEDC.