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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Governor Walker's Summer Youth Employment Program Provides Private-Sector Job Training Opportunities in Milwaukee Area

WAUWATOSA – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen today joined U.S. Cellular executives and workforce leaders from the Milwaukee Mayor's Office, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Employ Milwaukee to highlight Governor Scott Walker's $450,000 investment in the Summer Youth Employment program.

"Governor Walker's Summer Youth Employment Program makes work experiences available to Milwaukee-area young adults who want to work and develop critical job skills needed for future careers," said DWD Secretary Allen. "U.S. Cellular is one of the many dedicated employers that make this program successful, helping our next generation of workers obtain valuable on-the-job training at accessible worksites."

Governor Walker directed DWD to award general purpose revenue funds to Employ Milwaukee and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee to jointly administer the local program to provide more than 225 Milwaukee County youth ages 14 to 25 with paid summer work placements at private sector businesses or community-based organizations up to 20 hours per week.

“Private-sector opportunities are a great way to gain valuable work experience,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “My Earn & Learn Summer Youth Employment Program connects young people to work in the private sector as well as provides meaningful first work experiences for our teens to enter the world of work through City Department internships and positions with community-based organizations where they can develop essential job skills.”

Participating youth complete a week of work-readiness training that includes an individualized assessment, soft skills development, resume writing, interviewing skills, job coaching, and financial literacy. Those who successfully finish their work experience are prepared for their return to school or for entry-level employment.

President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee Vincent Lyles said, "Summer employment provides our youth with an opportunity to gain workforce readiness skills and build their resumes. Thank you to U.S. Cellular, one of the many exceptional employers providing real world work experiences to help prepare Milwaukee's next generation of leaders."

“Enhancing the learning experience for youth is one of our primary focuses. We want to motivate them to explore career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. That’s why we have been a part of the Summer Youth Employment Program for the past four years,” said Scott Hanson, Area Sales Manager for U.S. Cellular. “The result is young people gaining valuable job skills, experience and exposure to career opportunities. And sometimes, a career with our company.”

Hanson noted that four youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs are working this summer in the wireless carrier’s Milwaukee area stores and that Goodnews Osunkwo, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was hired following his participation in the program two years ago. Osunkwo works as a retail wireless sales associate in U.S. Cellular’s store in downtown Milwaukee.

“We’re proud of these students, their willingness to learn, and their work ethic. And we’re thrilled to be able to expose them to new career possibilities which they may have never previously considered,” added Hanson.

The Boys & Girls Club is one of two organizations that U.S. Cellular supports on a national and local level through financial donations, sponsorships and associate engagement. The other organization is 4-H. This year, U.S. Cellular is providing $155,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs in Wisconsin, including $60,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs in Milwaukee.

“I would like to thank U.S. Cellular for investing in our young people by providing summer jobs. You are helping to develop our region’s future workforce,” said Earl Buford, President and CEO, Employ Milwaukee. “Employ Milwaukee is deeply committed to preparing our young people for employment across industries, by working closely with our workforce partners.”