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WIRED: Milwaukee update December 3, 2006

Posted by Tom in Community, Economic Development, WIRED, Workforce.
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Thanks to Kevin Thompson at the US Department of Labor’s Employment  Training Administration for this link to an article from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, on Assistant Secretary of Labor Emily DeRocco’s recent visit to Milwaukee:

“In an era of global competition, many former competitors have a common economic fate, so they must join together to create a common economic future,” DeRocco said at a meeting of the Regional Workforce Alliance, at the Brookfield Suites Hotel.

The alliance is a complement to the Milwaukee 7, a regional economic development coalition involving the seven counties of Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha. DeRocco’s office has granted the alliance financial and technical support along with 25 other regions nationwide.

Half of those regions are receiving three-year grants of $15 million each. The Milwaukee region is among 13 areas designated as “runner-up” recipients and so far has received $100,000 in planning funds. DeRocco also spoke of another round of investments, saying she hopes to have an announcement soon.

The alliance also has received $260,000 so far through a state program promoting multi-county collaboration on work force efforts.

Asst. Sec. DeRocco also gave some interesting insights on the direction that workforce and economic development programmers should consider moving toward:

DeRocco said to succeed as economic development regions, Milwaukee and all areas need to pull down “barriers between political jurisdictions.” She said a key step, which the alliance has been working on, is identifying the array of work force investments already in the region.

“There are a staggering amount of resources from federal, state and local programs, but there isn’t any single person or body that knows where it is, how it’s being used and how to align and leverage it,” DeRocco said. “And so mapping those assets and having a transparent enough system where the strategic leadership team can make the investment decisions, that’s the hard work ahead.”

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