Today, U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) and U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) announced that YWCA of Greater Milwaukee will receive more than $5.7 million to help Milwaukee residents enter the workforce and maintain economic security.
Congresswoman Moore said, "The sad facts are that many low-income people are forced into jobs where they can't get sufficient training or that don't pay enough to support families. Programs like this one at the YWCA are perfect because they recognize that many folks need training to enter the workforce as well as support to help them along the way. I'm thrilled that this funding is coming to Milwaukee to help people get and keep good jobs."
"The financial stress of unemployment or even a low-paying job doesn't just weigh on the worker; their families and those who depend on them for food and housing are also affected," Senator Kohl said. "Many non-custodial parents who have lost their jobs are finding it increasingly difficult to pay their child support. The funding provided by this Department of Labor grant will support the YWCA of Greater Milwaukee and their partners in providing job skills training and other employment supports so they can find well-paying jobs that will allow parents to continue to provide for their children."
The YWCA of Greater Milwaukee received the funding for its Supporting Families Through Work program from the Department of Labor's Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration Project grant program.
Transitional jobs are short-term jobs that give participants on-the-job work experience along with an array of support services to help them overcome barriers to employment.
The funding will be used to help participants get necessary jobs skills, enter the workforce, and complete high school or get a GED. The program also focuses on career development and helping participants meet family obligations, such as child support.
"Our more than 15 years of experience managing employment and training services has shown that with the right program model we can effectively bridge job seekers with meaningful employment," said Paula H. Penebaker, President and CEO of YWCA Greater Milwaukee. "This grant is a tremendous opportunity to empower others to provide for their families and move beyond poverty, and would have not been possible without the leadership of Senator Kohl and Congresswoman Moore. We are deeply grateful for their support and commitment to helping individuals with significant barriers to employment obtain the skills they need."
Both Moore and Kohl wrote to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in support of YWCA receiving this funding.