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Gov. Evers addresses workforce challenges while announcing investment in Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

Gov. Tony Evers speaks at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee.
Simone Cazares
Gov. Tony Evers at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee's Ready Center

Earlier this week, Gov. Tony Evers announced a $60 million investment to address workforce challenges across the state. It's part of a $100 million Workforce Innovation Grant program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

The $60 million investment will help fund 12 projects. One of them is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, which received $3.3 million. On Thursday, Evers visited the organization’s Ready Center, where he said the funding will bring more skilled employees into the state’s workforce.

"We've got the best workers in the world and the businesses that care about those workers and their communities," Evers said. "We've got great schools, whether it's our great K-12 system or our universities or our technical colleges, and we have a tradition of being a leader of big ideas. These funds will build upon the leadership and support of our state's workforce while providing long-term, sustainable solutions to the labor challenges our state has faced for far too long."

Kathy Thornton-Bias is President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. She said the organization will use its funding to help prepare young people in Milwaukee to join the city’s workforce after graduation. By partnering with local businesses and universities, she hopes young people will gain hands-on skills they can use to pursue a career.

"The staff, the men and women of the Boys & Girls Clubs are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to build great futures," Thornton-Bias said. "In the end, our goal is to ensure that Milwaukee students are graduating from high school and very prepared for entering the workforce. We believe that this special grant will be a win for employers, a win for Milwaukee, and most importantly, a win for the kids."

Thornton-Bias said the Boys & Girls Clubs hopes to serve more than 10,000 teenagers in the next two and a half years.

In 2021, Simone Cazares was WUWM's Eric Von Broadcast Fellow. She later became a WUWM reporter.
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