Esperanza Unida is pleased to announce the appointment of Damon Dorsey as its director of Economic Development, effective May 3, 2013.
“We are grateful to have the benefit of Damon Dorsey’s knowledge and experience in the field of Economic Development,” said Manny Perez, general manager of Esperanza Unida, “His experience, including as Milwaukee County’s Economic Development director, will be a vital addition in advancing Esperanza Unida’s economic development initiatives.”
“Mr. Dorsey has worked with Esperanza Unida in the past,” said Robert Miranda, Executive Director of Esperanza Unida. “He is familiar with our mission and our resolve to move our community out of poverty and helping families become self sustaining.”
Supporting Capital Improvement at International Building
One of Dorsey’s initial objectives will be to advance the improvement efforts at Esperanza Unida’s International Building, located at 611 West National Avenue. The International building is one of the largest enterprise development infrastructures in the State of Wisconsin, housing 15 different enterprises. By offering below market rental rates, along with utilities, the building has played a vital role in supporting the growth and profitability of the community’s enterprise and economic development.
Esperanza Unida utilizes the International Building as a training site for individuals in the areas of janitorial and maintenance, facilities operations, culinary arts training, childcare training among others. In order to continue to fulfill the original mission of workforce and economic development, the building requires capital investment in roofing and central air as well as a comprehensive “greening” program associated with worker training in green jobs.
“Capital improvements have not kept pace with the increased use of the facility over the past few years,” states Perez. “Efforts are now underway to repair the roof, the central air system and other key infrastructure. We ask the entire foundation donor community and private sector to help us help individuals become self sufficient by helping our efforts to improve the 611 International Building.”
Supporting South Side Business Startups
Dorsey will also be tasked with supporting business startups as they work to transition from early stage development to competitive operations. In addition to working with existing businesses to increase revenue and decrease costs, Dorsey will assist businesses with key office and Internet infrastructure – including through incubator space in the building, and will help them leverage collaborative partnerships with other economic development organizations and governmental units to efficiently help startups with their goals.
“Damon’s influence will help Esperanza Unida maximize economic development goals for Milwaukee’s South Side,” says Perez. “His understanding of business planning, loan packaging, urban planning and proposal process for different organizations will help accelerate the growth of these startups and contribute to the employment and tax base in the community.
Dorsey will also collaborate with existing organizations in a non-competitive manner to advance economic development goals. This includes collaborating and leveraging Esperanza Unida’s relationships with city, county and state entities, chambers of commerce, and non-profit organizations to positively contribute to accelerating overall economic development goals for Milwaukee’s south side.
“The wings of the dove in the Mural of Peace are large enough for all to work jointly towards the common goal of helping people become self sufficient,” said Perez. “Esperanza Unida’s doors are open to any professional, organization or individual who wants to contribute and collaborate. We salute all of those who have been working for many years to the betterment of our communities.”