Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced today a proposal for a $28 million dollar federally-funded job training facility on the city’s northwest side is moving forward, following successful approval by the Common Council. The Redevelopment Authority will acquire land on 60th & Green Tree Road to locate the 23-acre Milwaukee Job Corps facility.
“Milwaukee is about to open a vital link between our unskilled, at-risk young people to work-based learning and real opportunities in our community,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.
Milwaukee made an aggressive and successful pitch to bring a federal Job Corps Center to the city. Mayor Barrett, while still a member of Congress, along with several other elected officials made the case that Milwaukee needs this resource to help prepare its younger workforce to meet the needs of area employers for skilled workers.
Job Corps is a national vocational job training program administered by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, with 122 centers operating in the U.S. The program offers a link for low-income youth from 16 to 24 years old with education, job training and placement. Students learn a variety of hands-on instruction in more than 100 occupations, in a range of industries based on local labor needs among area employers. Job training is offered in information technology (IT), construction, health care, emergency responders, security and more.
The average applicant to Job Corps does not have a high school diploma or GED and needs additional reading, math skills and job skills training to meet requirements of any entry level jobs. While 74% of Job Corps students are high school drop-outs, 90% of Job Corps graduates go on to jobs, apprenticeships and higher education.
“They say the biggest problem with the Job Corps is the fact that people don’t know that it’s an option,” said Mayor Barrett. “This is a program that works and I will make sure this is the worst kept secret in Milwaukee. We have young people in Milwaukee who need a chance to develop real job skills and we have employers who need skilled workers.”
After a thorough site selection process and exploration of sites in the Milwaukee area, the U.S. Dept. of Labor chose a site at 60th & Green Tree Road. The U.S. Dept. of Labor will build a $28 million brand new facility featuring vocational training shops, academic classrooms, dormitories, a cafeteria, and recreation facilities, much like a closed-campus at a junior college.
The Milwaukee Job Corps Center will hire 80-90 people to run the site and all equipment, materials and supplies will be purchased from local vendors.
The Milwaukee Job Corps facility is expected to provide training for 250 students. Construction would begin this year and be completed by October 2008.