Youth Jobs Issue Campaign Details

The Youth Jobs Issue Campaign and The City of Milwaukee’s Earn & Learn Partnership

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At Common Ground we believe that improving job opportunities for Milwaukee youth will improve the economic and social well-being of the area. Given the current crisis it is even more critical that opportunities are provided to our youth so they may participate in the economic recovery. On behalf of Milwaukee youth, Common Ground is asking Milwaukee area businesses and foundations to participate in this program by providing jobs and/or by making grants to assure that Earn and Learn has adequate resources.

Provide a Job and Transform a Life


City of Milwaukee’s Earn & Learn Summer Job Program provides opportunities for qualified high school students to gain valuable workplace experience, and puts a few dollars in some empty pockets. By breaking the cycle of joblessness and exposing young adults to the culture of work, Earn & Learn:

– Lays the foundation for a trained workforce
– Provides job readiness skills
– Offers real work experiences and a variety of career possibilities
– Allows experienced employees to participate in positive change in their community

The Greater Milwaukee Committee and Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground, a broad-based citizen organization, have supported the expansion of the Earn & Learn program and are now helping to recruit businesses and area foundations involvement. The goal of this effort is to increase the number of summer jobs from about 1300 last summer to 3000 in the summer of 2009.

Earn & Learn Program Information

Earn & Learn is a collaborative partnership of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB), the City of Milwaukee, businesses, and community based organizations. Its mission is to assist young people from Milwaukee to make a successful transition from adolescence to productive adulthood. The MAWIB staff works with employers to place students in meaningful work and ensures the program’s effectiveness.

All youth participating in private sector Earn and Learn jobs have at least one previous job experience and receive job readiness training prior to starting the job. MAWIB staff provides support and service for the employer throughout the duration of the youth’s employment. At the end of their job, students go through an evaluation that determines what they have learned and what they need to do to improve their work perfomance.

Participating employers are asked to provide summer jobs which:

– Provide student workers with a written job description
– Provide at least 20 hours of work per week for a minimum of seven weeks
– Pay at least minimum wage
– Are located in the Milwaukee County area for youth accessibility to the job location

After positions are posted MAWIB staff will assess the request, prescreen applicants and then recommend one or more youth that meet employer requirements to fill the position.

More Information on the Earn & Learn Program

City offers Options for Jobless Teens – December 2008:

Editorial: Work for Kids – The Milwaukee Common Council should boost funding for the Summer Jobs Initiative to provide more opportunities for youth. – November 2008:

Hope in the Lives of Young People: 1500 gain experience through Earn and Learn – July 2008:

Youth to Get a Slice of the Pie: Palermo Villa a Leader in City’s Summer Jobs Program – April 2008:

Open Letter from Earn & Learn Co-Chairs Mayor Tom Barrett and Giacomo Fallucca, President/CEO of Palermo’s Pizza – March 2008:

The mayor talks about the importance of the Youth Jobs program in his February 13th E-Newsletter:

Earn & Learn Website at

Contact Information

Interested businesses can attain more information about the program and post a youth job opportunity by contacting:

Bill Malone, Youth Jobs Coordinator, via phone 414.286.5894 Email

Or Common Ground Issue Campaign Leaders:
– Debra Schneider: 414-550-2167 or Email
– Denise Fried: 414-333-0709 or Email