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Residents Preference Program Certification

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 financed with public tax dollars must hire a percentage of RPP-certified City of Milwaukee residents to work on those projects. Typically, Department of Public Works (DPW) projects require that 40% of all work hours be attributed to those who hold  RPP certification. Contractors and developers are encouraged to refer to their contract/agreement to determine their project requirements.

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 one of these certifying agencies:

Certifying Agency

Contact Name


WRTP/Big Step

Joan Champion

[email protected]

Milwaukee Community Service Corps

Corrina Brown

[email protected]

Mindful Staffing

Reginald Reed

[email protected]

Riverworks Development Corp

Darryl Johnson

[email protected]

Milwaukee JobsWork

Jerald Westmoreland

[email protected]

Uniting Garden Homes

Demetrius Brown

[email protected]

WestCare Wisconsin

Travis Landry

[email protected]

Social Development Commission

Shyrida Lane

[email protected]

Milwaukee Urban League Brandy Murrell

[email protected]


The DPW Contracts Administration Office also provides RPP certifications. Please complete the RPP employee affidavit and submit it with two proofs of residence to [email protected] or contact our office at 414-286-3314 to schedule an appointment to complete your certification in-person.

RPP employee affidavit -Spanish

If RPP certification is granted, individuals will be issued a certification.  While there is no 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.

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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