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Small Business Development

Residents Preference Program (RPP)

The City of Milwaukee helps underemployed and unemployed residents gain access to employment opportunities through its Residents Preference Program (RPP).  The RPP certification is designed to promote the use of city residents as part of a contractor’s or developer's workforce on certain city-funded construction and private development projects.  Contractors bidding on public works projects and development projects financed with public tax dollars must hire a percentage of RPP-certified City of Milwaukee residents to work on those projects.  Typically, projects will include a 40% RPP requirement.  However, contractors and developers are encouraged to refer to their contract/agreement to determine their project requirements.

How to Apply for RPP Certification

To qualify for the RPP, interested individuals must be a City of Milwaukee resident plus meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Has not worked in preceding 15 days AND/OR
  • Worked less than 1,200 hours in the preceding 12 months AND/OR
  • Meet certain federal poverty guidelines

If these requirements are met, interested individuals should complete an RPP affidavit and schedule an appointment with a certifying agency:

     WRTP/BIG STEP: www.wrtp.org/ | (414) 342-9787

     Mindful Staffing Solutions LLC: www.mindfulstaff.com/contractcompliance

If RPP certification is granted, individuals will be issued a certification.  While there is no longer an expiration date for RPP certification, the individual must continue to live in the City of Milwaukee to remain RPP certified.  Certification becomes invalid if you move outside Milwaukee city limits.  If an RPP individual moves within the City of Milwaukee, their RPP certification will need to be updated with the new City of Milwaukee address.

City Departments

The following City departments are responsible for administering RPP:

Department Contract Types Legislation
Department of Public Works Public works projects Milwaukee Code of Ordinances (MCO) CH 309-41
Office of Equity & Inclusion / Department of City Development Private development projects MCO CH 355 (applies to projects with >$1M City assistance)
Department of City Development Housing Infrastructure Program and Tenant Transition to Ownership Program MCO CH 7-22 (5), CH 309-41
Department of Neighborhood Services Deconstruction and DPW Demolition Support (City-owned property) MCO CH 309-41


Changes to RPP Effective January 1, 2017

Effective January 1, 2017, the Mayor and Common Council passed changes to the ordinances regarding RPP participation for certain public works contracts and development agreements.  An overview of the changes is available here - RPP Changes.


Special Impact Area Zip Codes 

53204   53205   53206   53208   53210   53212   53215   53233

Effective January 1, 2015, each contractor and every lower-tier subcontractor on a project with RPP requirements will be required to submit Resident Preference Program (RPP) documentation electronically.  This includes payroll information for all workers on the project (including RPP and non-RPP workers), such as employee identification, labor classification, total hours worked on the project, and wage and benefits rates paid.

New Labor Compliance Reporting (LCR) App

Effective January 1, 2023, LCPtracker has been replaced with the City's Labor Compliance Reporting app. 

The new Labor Compliance Reporting (LCR) app can be accessed online at https://itmdapps.milwaukee.gov/LoginMKE/loginCitizen.jsp?from=/LaborComplianceReporting/

Each contractor and subcontractor will be given a User ID and password to access the LCR application.  Again, this requirement must be ‘flowed down’ to every lower-tier subcontractor required to provide RPP documentation for this project.

The use of their system will be free and be offered at no expense to our contractors and subcontractors.

Benefits of Labor Compliance Reporting app

  • Prompts user to fill in all required fields on payroll to ensure no information is missing.
  • Crafts/classifications are standardized, making it easier to identify.
  • Validates data to avoid inadvertent mathematical errors.
  • Confirms immediately that correct prevailing wage rates are being paid.


RPP History

1991 | The City of Milwaukee established the Residents Preference Program.  At least 14% of the hours worked on public works contracts were to be worked by RPP-certified workers.  In order to be certified as RPP, workers were required to live in targeted Milwaukee neighborhoods and qualify as unemployed or underemployed.

1997 | The RPP participation requirement increased from 14% to 25% of total project hours.

2009 | The City of Milwaukee passed the Milwaukee Opportunities for Restoring Employment (M.O.R.E) ordinance, which opened the program to private development projects receiving more than $1 million of direct financial assistance from the City of Milwaukee.  The RPP percentage increased from 25% to 40% of total project hours, and the program opened up to residents living anywhere in the City of Milwaukee.  

2016 | The City of Milwaukee created the Workforce Organizational Reform Committee (WORC) to valuate and improve the procedures and practices of the City’s workforce development and economic participation initiatives, including the Residents Preference Program.  

2017 | The recommendations from the WORC shall be implemented.

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