On, July 25, 2018, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $2.3 million to the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) to implement HUD’s Jobs Plus Initiative at HACM’s Hillside Terrace public housing development. The funding will connect Hillside Terrace residents with employment, education, and financial empowerment services.
The Jobs Plus Initiative will address unemployment to promote economic advancement of public housing residents by incentivizing employment and earnings increases through the earned income disregard for participating families, and by providing services designed to support work including: employer linkages, job placement and counseling, educational advancement and financial counseling. Providing employment related services, financial incentives so that residents have a Plan B ensuring they are “ahead of the game,” and a robust community support for work are all key components which will enrich the lives of the residents that HACM is committed to serve.
EMPLOYMENT & TRAINING SERVICES
- Job-search assistance
- Collaboration with business partners to identify job training and employment opportunities
- Coaching to help residents adjust to the world of work
- Vocational training (usually short-term)
- General Education Development (GED) and English as a Second language (ESL) courses
- Identify employers willing to work with hard-to-employ residents transitioning to the world of work
- Identify agencies who assist with starting or running small businesses
- Other support services (i.e. child care)
- Conditional rent-based incentives to help residents keep more of their earnings
COMMUNITY SUPPORTS FOR WORK
- Community Coaches (Hillside residents) are recruited, and trained, to encourage their neighbors to utilize Jobs Plus services to improve their employability
- Community Coaches also play a vital role in engaging residents to establish informal and formal systems to support members’ efforts to secure long-term sustainable employment
- The Jobs Plus program utilizes the provision of housing to engage residents in “non-traditional” ways to facilitate workforce development within the communities they live
In addition to the HACM team of employees and residents, its community partners will play a crucial role in making this program successful.
- The Adult Learning Center MATC who will help with adult basic skills and other certifications and education.
- The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee who will provide after-school child care and enrichment.
- Progressive Community Health Center who will help provide health services to residents and their families.
- Milwaukee Community Services Corps WRTP/Big Step who will provide job training programs.
- Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation who will provide financial literacy and entrepreneurship training.
- Employ Milwaukee who will be in important partner to help identify and develop jobs in key sectors that provide a career track.