Plans to employ 15,000 Black Men in Milwaukee Metro Area
MADISON – Representative Leon D. Young (D-Milwaukee) announced plans for a new initiative to employ 15,000 African American men in the Milwaukee area in the coming years. Rep. Young plans to bring together community and business leaders, elected officials, city representatives and other partners to come up with creative and innovative solutions to combat the worsening problem of black male unemployment in the Milwaukee metro area. Rep. Young plans to focus his efforts increasing Black male employment in the public workforce and the housing and building industries.
“In light of recent reports that show that over half of workingage black men in Milwaukee were working, it is clear that creative and innovative solutions are needed to address this issued,” Rep. Young stated. “The Milwaukee cannot thrive if a large segment of its population is unable to find steady employment with family- supporting wages. Creating employment for 15,000 black men is a very real and achievable goal that I firmly believe can be accomplished.”
A January study by UWMilwaukee Professor Marc Levine found that the employment rate for Black males between the ages of 16 and 64 was 44.7 percent. This is the lowest ever recorded for Black males in Milwaukee and nearly 30 percentage points lower than the employment rate in 1970. Only the metropolitan areas of Buffalo and Detroit have lower employment rates. Employing 15,000 Black men would have the effect of putting Milwaukee near the top of the 40 largest metro areas in the United States
“The large numbers of Black men who are unemployed has created a crisis for our community that has serious and long-term effects on the health of the city,” Rep. Young said.
“The current situation is not sustainable, and it is obvious that our current approach is not having a marked impact on the problem. I am proud to be involved, along with many other leaders in Milwaukee, to come up with and implement constructive policies to contend with this pressing issue.”