between the public and private sectors are providing stable
employment opportunities for youngsters and adults throughout three
of the adjacent counties in the area.
president of the Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington County Workforce
Development Board, presented the organization’s annual report during
the Oct. 24 County Board of Supervisors meeting. Among the items on
her agenda were grants that fund training opportunities and life
skills for adolescents.
“In addition to
formula funding, the other half of our budget is made up largely of
federal grants,” Catherman said. “I am happy to say that last year
we received a $4 million federal grant from the department of labor
to train individuals in I.T. (information technology careers), I.T.
manufacturing and health care.”
program, called TechHire, and is available to those between the ages
of 17 and 29 who have a high school diploma or general education
degree, and are interested in pursuing careers in the technology
The goal is to
educate 456 students over four years. Her presentation indicated 333
enrollees will be placed in middle to high-skilled occupations with
a median salary of $34,000. Another 114 participants will complete
education or training to receive their degree or other credential.
organization also provides funding to teach adolescent life skills.
The program is designed for those who are between 17 and 21 years
old, youngsters who have aged out of the foster care or other
out-of- home living situation.
“We are helping
individuals who are aging out of foster care, get the life skills
they need to get stable housing, but also to help get them education
and employment,” Catherman said. “This one we started in January and
has been hugely successful.
The final grant
is called Building Futures.
“This is also a
Department of Labor grant that helps at-risk youth who either
dropped out of high school or graduated with a very low skill,
obtain their GED and their carpentry certificate, while building
low-income housing units for the community,” Catherman said. “It is
really a win-win for everyone.”
will serve 72 students during a two-year period. Aside from
obtaining their certifications, the program is also designed to
augment their math and reading skills while developing leadership
and the intangible skills participants will require when they enter
The goal is to
either place participants in a career or enroll them into a
post-secondary institution for further education.
“This is a very
intensive program,” Catherman said. “It serves a high-barriered
population, but it has such huge rewards at the end of the program
when they graduate.”
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