WUWM News

Bucks Arena, Streetcar Shape Local Job Training

Aug 25, 2017
Amanda Becker

The skyline in Milwaukee is changing, and with that comes hundreds of jobs. Though many of those positions don't require a college degree, they do require specific sets of skills. So, a local nonprofit has teamed up with construction firms to create programs to train city residents for that work.

For the new Milwaukee Bucks area, Carrie Enders of the contractor Wall-tech says her company had to get creative. “We did not have any qualified workers and we had this requirement with the City of Milwaukee."

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Thursday, the GOP-dominated Joint Finance Committee voted on the DNR's budget. Emotions flared and sparks flew, but in the end, the measure to restructure the DNR passed 12 to 4.

While Democrats urged folding in more funding to protect the environment, they really dug in their heels when it came to plans to reorganize the agency.

In recent years, the department has gone through a number of significant changes.  For example - in 2015, some 60 scientists worked in the DNR’s central science services bureau. Today 15 remain.

Marti Mikkelson

City leaders continue to ramp up efforts to crack down on prostitution on Milwaukee’s south side. Earlier this summer, a community organization announced it would open a shelter for victims of human trafficking, who are forced into prostitution. Then, neighbors chipped in to hire a private security firm to gather intelligence on the south side – and go after the customers, or johns. A couple of aldermen announced Wednesday that the city is also focusing on another tactic.

Marti Mikkelson

State lawmakers have held several meetings about the huge Foxconn plant that the Taiwanese company wants to build in southeastern Wisconsin. But, Tuesday’s hearing was different. It was the first crack the Joint Finance committee had at the deal. And, the public hearing was held in Racine County – one of the counties likely in the running to land the LCD screen manufacturing facility.

Marti Mikkelson

It took nearly two years, but House Speaker Paul Ryan finally held a town hall meeting in his district Monday night.

About 300 people attended the event at the Racine Theater Guild. Several hundred others gathered outside the venue to protest. Ryan answered questions on a wide range of topics.

Rachel Morello

Fernanda Jimenez is sixteen. She has a bubbly personality and braids in her hair. She's also an undocumented immigrant -- but that's not how she describes herself. 

"People who have DACA call themselves 'DACA-mented!'" Jimenez exclaims. 

Aisha Turner

On Saturday, Milwaukeeans rallied in response to the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. A large group spread out at the end of Wisconsin Avenue and chanted “white silence is violence” … “love trumps hate” … and “black lives matter.” 

They stood between the Northwestern Mutual Tower and the orange sunburst sculpture in O’Donnell Park. Some cars passing by honked in support.

FOXCONN TWITTER

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle made emotional pleas in Madison on Thursday, urging colleagues to pass – or reject – the Foxconn bill. After seven hours of debate, the state Assembly approved the bill on a vote of 59-30.

The vote was largely along party lines, but some Democrats found themselves supporting the bill.

Rachel Morello/info.gram

Like law and medicine, education can be a complicated field -- particularly with how many buzzwords people use.

Educators are infamous for having their own lingo – commonly referred to as “edu-speak” -- filled with acronyms and other jargon. And all that terminology adds a layer of confusion for some parents, as they try to advocate for their kids.

Once you immerse yourself in the world of school policy (like anything else) you fall prey to becoming a wonk, and using verbage normal people might not recognize – phrases like “blended learning” or “21st century skills.”

LaToya Dennis

There are a lot of statistics that point to Milwaukee not being a good place for many African Americans. The high crime and poverty rates, and high achievement gap between black and white students, are just a few. Several groups are trying to improve the lives of the city's black residents, including by providing both a safety net and public safety. WUWM reports on the group - The Freedom Fighters, whose name pays homage to those who came before.

Jessica Grow, School of Freshwater Sciences

The dangerous blue-green algae in Milwaukee's Veterans Park lagoon continues to pose a risk to human and animal health. Last weekend, organizers of a dragon boat festival moved the event elsewhere because of toxins created by the algae. And this coming weekend, water skiers had planned to compete in a two-day competition.

The water ski event was canceled Wednesday, due to the water's condition.

Marti Mikkelson

Mayor Tom Barrett said an increase to Milwaukee’s sales tax is necessary to balance a tight city budget. While previewing city budget challenges Tuesday night, he told about 100 people at the Zeidler Municipal Building that the city faces a dire budget situation for 2018, and called the current fiscal model unsustainable. 

Barrett said in the past few years, pension costs that the city pays to retirees have skyrocketed while the state has cut back on shared revenue payments to municipalities.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Should Wisconsin be the only state making a major investment in the proposed Foxconn factory? Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson asked that question on Tuesday at a Rotary Club appearance in Milwaukee.

The Republican businessman says the huge plant in far southeastern Wisconsin likely would provide jobs for many Illinois residents. As a result, Johnson suggested that perhaps Illinois should share the burden that Gov. Scott Walker wants Wisconsin to take on in order to ensure Foxconn build its plant here.

alumroot

Foxconn’s plans to build a huge LCD screen manufacturing facility in southeastern Wisconsin are another step closer to reality. On Monday, an Assembly committee voted in favor of a $3 billion tax incentives package to lure the company here.

Gov. Walker and fellow Republicans are pushing for the deal. Democrats on the committee pushed for nearly two dozen amendments in an effort to soften the burden on taxpayers. But, all of them failed.

Bonnie Petrie

Violence erupted in the Sherman Park neighborhood a year ago – after a Milwaukee police officer fatally shot an armed suspect. The outburst was partly the result of frustration over stubborn issues that have been plaguing the central city. Among the top concerns – jobs. The incident prompted Gov. Walker to commit $4.5 million to help employ people from central city neighborhoods.

Milwaukee’s unemployment rate has declined from 6.5 percent to five percent in the year since the Sherman Park unrest, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

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