In Milwaukee, more than 17 percent of Black residents are unemployed, compared to more than 4 percent of white residents. A key to closing this widening economic gap is giving individuals more workforce development opportunities and access to job prospects. Employ Milwaukee, the local workforce development board serving Milwaukee County, offers such resources and programs but functions primarily out of its in-person American Job Centers. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, however, social distance guidelines and in-person restrictions have significantly limited access to these services. Employ Milwaukee needs to adapt and realign its service model to fit a virtual world and reach all Milwaukeeans at an especially critical time.

To support these efforts, Employ Milwaukee will partner with FUSE Executive Fellow Nina Mack-Cain for one year to launch new digital and virtual reality-based training programs that complement the existing services that are delivered in-person, but which are now limited due to public health restrictions. With the Executive Fellow’s support, Employ Milwaukee plans to make all of its programs, resources, and services available at the click of a button, bolstering access to workforce development opportunities for all Milwaukee residents.