(Above) Thanks to United Way-funded programs, Antonio found a stable job he loves.
All adults of working age in our community should have the opportunity to obtain permanent employment with a livable wage at a workplace where they are treated with dignity and have opportunities for advancement.
Almost 14% of African-Americans in Milwaukee are unemployed vs. 2.7% of Caucasians – the largest gap of any American metropolitan area. In addition, Wisconsin is one of the highest-ranked outbound states in the country, with nearly 60% of movers leaving the state for a job.
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County’s Diversity Leadership Society is heading up an initiative to reduce barriers to employment and advancement for local, diverse individuals.
To do this, a multi-faceted approach will be implemented, including:
- Education, training, and credentials: offer financial support to programs that help adults learn to read, earn their GED or other employment credentials, and teach English as a Second Language (ESL).
- Transportation: support programs that help adults recover their driver’s license and assist youth in obtaining their initial driver’s license.
- Involvement in the justice system: advocate for laws that promote expungement of records from public databases for non-violent offenders. Studies have shown that most employers are reluctant to hire applicants with criminal records, even for non-violent convictions.
- Diverse Talent Retention: enlist the help of outside consultants to develop a survey tool to understand why diverse talent is leaving the region at such a high rate.
A gift to the Reducing Barriers to Employment & Advancement initiative will help United Way and our partners close the employment gap and significantly reduce barriers and challenges to stable employment for diverse individuals across our region. Donate today.