The Milwaukee Bucks today launched a new partnership with SkillSmart to create a workforce development platform for family-supporting careers in the new arena district – both during the construction process and for end-use positions in the arena and surrounding development.
"This project is as much about creating meaningful and long-lasting employment for the citizens of Milwaukee who need it most as it is about creating a world-class venue for the people of Wisconsin to enjoy," Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry said. "As part of our development agreement we made a commitment to partner with the city and county on workforce development initiatives that will truly make a difference for jobseekers in Wisconsin.
"The SkillSmart platform will not only align Milwaukee jobseekers with available positions in and around the arena, but create a more qualified pipeline of potential employees that will be mutually beneficial for jobseekers and employers throughout the region. We can’t wait to begin rolling this tool out in communities throughout the city and begin providing meaningful opportunities for local residents interested expanding their skill sets and finding employment within this vibrant new development."
"Milwaukee County has already placed more than 100 individuals in jobs averaging more than $15 per hour through our UpLift MKE partnership with the Bucks, just since the beginning of the year," Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said. "These efforts are targeted directly to workers, particularly those in and near the Sherman Park area, who most need support to successfully climb the ladder of opportunity. The potential to benefit our community here can’t be overstated. The Bucks’ commitment to build the future in Milwaukee will have a profound and lasting impact on our community."
Construction of the new arena is expected to generate over 3,000 jobs, while an additional $230 million in economic development is already pledged or under construction in the surrounding area that will produce thousands more family-supporting careers in the coming years. The new platform powered by SkillSmart will build a pipeline of qualified applicants for construction and end-use positions throughout the district.
The site breaks down available positions in terms of necessary skills and prerequisites, while inviting jobseekers to build a personal profile based around their work experience, training and qualifications. The tool will then provide jobseekers with scores for each available position based upon how well their skillset and qualifications align with the job, while also providing resources to potential employees on additional training available for them to become stronger candidates for available positions.
"We are pleased to partner with the Bucks in implementing SkillSmart," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. "We are making the process more efficient by taking the Residence Preference Program (RPP) certification process directly to residents and making it even easier to get certified. I’m hopeful Milwaukee residents will come to the job information meetings scheduled and take advantage of this effort."
In the coming weeks, the Bucks will be partnering with the City of Milwaukee to host a series of town hall meetings throughout the city to introduce prospective jobseekers to the platform and help them begin building their personal employment profiles. The first event is slated for Thursday, Dec. 15 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Journey House (2110 W. Scott St.). Dates and locations for additional town hall meetings will be available in the coming weeks.
The Bucks have committed to meeting a 40 percent RPP threshold for trade workers on the construction of the new arena. As part of the SkillSmart roll-out, the Bucks and City of Milwaukee officials will work together to assist local job seekers to become RPP certified and ensure that a large percentage of available positions go to local workers who need the opportunities most. City of Milwaukee officials will be on hand at each town hall meeting to assist attendees interested in receiving RPP certification.
Jobseekers at any stage of their search will benefit from the SkillSmart platform, whether they’re searching for a job that matches their current skillset, looking to take a step forward on their personal career track by expanding their qualifications, or simply starting their search and learning about the types of positions that will be available and how to begin preparing for future opportunities. By building a SkillSmart profile, prospective employees will learn how to become better-prepared for future opportunities while developing a stronger and more prepared workforce that will benefit the entire city.
"Both SkillSmart and the Bucks are committed to using local workforce development as an opportunity to drive regional economic growth," said SkillSmart Co-Founder, SVP & General Counsel Jason Green. "This project is intended to ensure the local Milwaukee community experiences the material benefits, including job creation, of the arena’s construction and operating jobs.