Group works to bring jobs back to Sherman Park

Pro Trade Job Development connects people to jobs
Posted at 7:21 PM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 21:31:13-04

For decades, Sherman Park was a neighborhood where lots of people could walk to a job good enough to support a family.

The struggle now is to bring back jobs -- enough jobs to bring back that quality of life.

Pro Trade Job Development is working to make that happen.

CEO Rashaad Washington knows firsthand the struggles many of the residents face. He almost dropped out of high school.

"I owned a construction company and I noticed that individuals that I would hire had some struggles outside of employment," Washington said.

To date, Washington's Pro Trade groups have helped 200 young men and women in Milwaukee become better employees. Building character and respect for the city that built them.

"We feel we tore up the city, it is our job to build it back up," Washington said.

Tim Sheehy, of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, says the connections need to be made early.

"What do you do for a young 19 year old living in the Sherman Park neighborhood who has a high school degree or doesn't have a high school degree, how do they get connected to the economy in a meaningful way?" Sheehy said. "People aren't connection to the economy, and when they're not connected to the economy, they don't participate as citizens."

Both men feel job creation programs have to be measured by how many people end up in meaningful careers.

"So that they can pridefully say, 'I'm working and I'm taking care of my family,'" Washington said.

Washington says competition for jobs and transportation issues still pose obstacles to many people looking for employment. But he says if resources get in the right hands to provide training and get people hired, busy hands will keep people out of trouble.

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