MILWAUKEE — A community action agency is opening up pathways from poverty to successful construction careers.
The Social Development Commission in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood is connecting graduates of the 10-week program with jobs making about $15 per hour.
In Wisconsin, the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the state’s unemployment rate at 5.5-percent as of December 2020. In December 2019, it was at 3.5-percent.
“Every time we do statistics around unemployment it typically under-reports what really is happening especially in the inner cities,” says George Hinton CEO of Social Development Commission or SDC. “Even if they’re working they’re not working at the same levels that they were or the same wages that they had in the past.”
This is why they hope more people take advantage of their construction certification program they call the Absolute Advantage Pre-Apprenticeship Class.
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Construction coordinator Robert Nunn says, “They’re pretty much guaranteed employment with their special skills set. Starting pay could be anywhere from $15 to $20 per hour.”
As you get paid at your new job, you will learn more under the wing of your new employer. The 10-week program opens avenues into becoming a plumber, welder, or electrician.
20-year-old Kayin Williams is ready, “This is a golden opportunity to take up skills physically hands-on work to be able to do what you need to do in life.”
He adds “It gives people like me a whole lot more experience and direct sources in order to learn how to do appropriate jobs.”
Hinton says SDC has taken it upon themselves to ensure other people who are out of work can get employed with them, “We’ve been able to hire almost 30 to 40 people as a part of the crisis relief and not only are we hoping our community but were getting people jobs.”
SDC offers a wide range of services, including tax help. You can call them at (414) 906-2700.