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Mobile job center opens near Sherman Park

Posted at 7:14 PM, Sep 13, 2016

Finding work can be hard, but one Milwaukee program is helping to make searching a little easier. This comes just weeks after Governor Walker pledged millions of dollars to connect young people with jobs.

Tuesday marked the opening of Milwaukee’s first Job Center Access Point inside Employ Milwaukee, where everyone comes with a different story but the same mission.

"It was time to move on so I made the decision of quitting my job without having a job," said Shanta Winters of Milwaukee. 

Winters decided to give the new HIRE Center a try after three weeks of unemployment. Her goal is not to find a job, but rather a career. 

"They taught me how to talk on an interview, they showed me the correct way of how to sell yourself to an employer," she explained.

The access point connects unemployed Milwaukeeans with computers, job counselors and dozens of employers.

It's all part of a state-funded initiative stemming from frustrations over economic disparity that helped trigger recent violence and protests in the Sherman Park neighborhood.

"We need to fill that pipeline of job seekers to match them up with the employers and we can do that in this neighborhood," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Employers from a variety of industries are joining the initiative. Healthcare, banking, construction, customer service and hospitality were the key sectors listed by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

DWD and Employ Milwaukee say the next step is taking these services on the road to reach more people in neighborhoods like Sherman Park.

Mobile response teams will take job searching equipment and staff to remove barriers like not having a ride to the access point.

Back at the HIRE Center, Winters is in the final stages of landing a sales job thanks to the program.

"I feel like why wouldn't y'all do it,” she said. “It helped me out."

Next Tuesday, the mobile response team will start their weekly tour in the Sherman Park neighborhood at Parklawn Assembly Church from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The mobile response team will be at the Milwaukee Urban League on Sept. 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The following stops have yet to be named.

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