Milwaukee alderman resigns to work for nonprofit

Willie Wade joins Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board

Milwaukee Ald. Willie Wade resigned from the Common Council last night to become a staff member of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.

Willie Wade

The Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board is a publicly funded nonprofit that provides employment and training programs for adults and teens in Milwaukee County.

Wade said he was drawn to the organization while watching building projects emerge as an alderman, such as the Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons, 833 East Michigan, the Couture and the Bucks arena.

“What I saw were a lot of opportunities for people to not only build those structures but to have jobs within those structures,” Wade said. “What I also knew by being the alderman of one of the poorest districts is that the community at large didn’t have the skill set to get those jobs and do those jobs … I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to make this transition and bring this city up to par.”

Wade’s position with the workforce investment board will be vice president, which is one of several new staff positions created in the last 18 months by president and CEO Earl Buford.

“We restructured the organization,” Buford said. “We changed it from a CEO, COO hierarchy and we went to a departmental model. We created a couple new departments.”

Buford would not say what Wade’s salary would be in his new role. Wade’s gross pay as an alderman was $79,909 in 2014.

“We wanted to rebuild our image,” Buford said. “I couldn’t think of a better person to help lead that community charge. If we’re going to raise the profile of this workforce board, we need somebody who has a community presence … we’re very fortunate that he was interested in this.”

Wade announced on Dec. 1 he would not seek re-election. He represented the 7th District for 13 years.

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Ben Stanley
Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.