Mayor Barrett became keenly aware early in 2011 that conventional funding systems to support summer employment for teenagers were rapidly decreasing or scheduled for elimination. Knowing that fewer summer jobs could become a critical factor in destabilizing the quality of life in city neighborhoods he decided to create the Mayor’s EARN & LEARN Fund.

The purpose of the EARN & LEARN Fund is to create an additional funding source for subsidizing employment for teens employed  through the Mayor’s EARN & LEARN Program. Both the Fund and Program operate together to ensure that more jobs are available to young jobseekers during the summer months.

The EARN & LEARN Fund became an officially designated fund through the City of Milwaukee’s Combined Giving Campaign with United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County in 2014. This designation now gives City employees the opportunity to become involved in job creation throughout the metro area for those teenagers who are most in need of summer job opportunities.

Since its 2011 launch, the Fund has received over 5.4 million in gifts to make a summer job a reality for hundreds of Milwaukee’s young people. The Fund receives both corporate and private foundation support as well as individual donations. This has resulted in creating hope in the lives of our future adult workforce at numerous nonprofit agencies in the Community Work Experience component of EARN & LEARN. We’re glad to call many corporate and philanthropic leaders our Hope Heroes in creating hope in the lives of our young people.


Myra Edwards
Office of Mayor Tom Barrett
(414) 286-8502


"I need every available resource to create these jobs. Without question, I could not make good on the promise of our youth working during the summer months without the tremendous generosity of corporate, foundation, and private gifts that make our EARN & LEARN jobs a reality."

—Mayor Tom Barrett

2017 Mayor's EARN & LEARN Hope Heroes

Corporations & Foundations


A.O. Smith Foundation
AT&T Foundation
Bader Philanthropies
BMO Harris
Briggs & Stratton
Curtis Universal
Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Harley Davidson
Herb Kohl Charities
Herzfeld Foundation
HNTB Corporation
Johnson Controls
JP Morgan Chase

Lalonde Contractors
Milwaukee Public Schools
Northwestern Mutual Foundation
Palermo Villa Inc.
PNC Foundation
Terra Engineering
The Concord Group
Wangard Partners
We Energies
Zilber Family Foundation



All Stars

Anon Charitable Trust
Brewers Community Foundation
Green Bay Packers
Milwaukee Bucks Foundation

Private Donors

Cindi & William Broydrick
Sara Fobes
Katherine Gehl
Mark Nicolini & Basilisa Virella


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