New program gives jobs, cleans up neighborhoods

Posted at 7:21 PM, Apr 01, 2016

It may sound like a lofty goal to some.

"We're trying to clean up the city and help people clean up their lives at the same time," explained Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

But, the Dombrowski landscape training program has worked for 2014 graduate Mickey Critton.

Critton was release from state prison after 16 years in 2013. He joined the city's program along with 19 other people in 2014. Now Critton is a vested city worker, a Department of Public Works Forestry Specialist.

The program didn't run in 2015 because of a lack of funding, but this year's $200,000 program is getting seven people trained.

For trainee Shawn Trimble, it's a chance to give his kids a great role model.

"When I come home my kids are so proud. My son yesterday wanted to put on my gear and go out in the rain and rake the leaves. All because his daddy's going to work," he explained.

In addition to the benefit for trainees, Alderman Russell Stamper II said it helps out the neighborhoods.

"What this does is prevent a would-be perpetrator from being able to hide behind the growth and vegetation," he said, in addition to noting how helpful it is to clean up neighborhoods.

The program will clean up about 350 of the City's about 1,500 vacant lots in need to repair in the 15th and 6th districts.