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$13.8 million plan could help Milwaukeeans find a new career

Mayor Barrett detailed first phase of federal money
Posted at 5:46 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 19:09:20-04

MILWAUKEE — With the pandemic almost in our rear view mirror, Milwaukee officials are hoping to support anyone looking to get not only a job but a career through federal grants.

On Monday, Mayor Tom Barrett detailed in his Milwaukee Recovery and Resilience plan an investment of $13.8 million.

The funds will be from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and is the first phase of funds to be allocated in Milwaukee.

However, the first phase of the ARPA funds will not be allocated until the plan is passed by the Milwaukee Common Council. The plan will be reviewed by the Council in the coming weeks.

The proposed plan includes $6 million for the Job Training Project, $3 million for a Skillful Transitions Project and $2.7 million for the mayor's plan for a Century City Clean Energy Jobs Project.

"Workforce development and job readiness are two key challenges that we face here in the city of Milwaukee," Barrett said. "The goal of these investments is to connect unemployed and low-wage workers with family-supporting jobs and career opportunities."

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MATC College Advancement and External Communications Vice President Laura Bray said this investment could help many people.

"We work to uplift people living in poverty and to train workers for the jobs that need specific skills in our communities," Bray said.

North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters Business Representative Jim Anderson grew up poor in Racine and found mastering a trade as a way out of poverty when he started working as a carpenter.

"Having a skill set for a certain trade makes you a little bit more employable," Anderson said.

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According to U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics, a carpenter makes roughly $53,000 annually.

Anderson was able to master a skill and turn a job into a career opportunity. He doesn't live paycheck-to-paycheck anymore and is able to provide more for his family.

City officials and community organizations say through this proposed plan, more opportunities will become available for those seeking them as the city bounces back from the pandemic.

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