By Dylan Deprey
It seems like Mayor Tom Barrett’s Earn & Learn initiative has added an All-Star team, as the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Admirals joined the summer youth employment program.
Neighborhood children danced and sang in the bleachers during the announcement at the Journey House Packers Football Stadium (S. 22nd and W. Pierce St.) on June, 21 2017.
“What we wanted to do this summer is help hundreds and thousands of kids in our community find and have a job,” Barrett said.
Mayor Barrett created the Earn & Learn summer youth program in 2005, and includes businesses, nonprofit, and community and faith-based organizations along with the City of Milwaukee.
“We as adults have a moral obligation to create hope and opportunity in the lives of the young people in Milwaukee,” Barrett said.
The Mayor was accompanied by some new teammates: Mark Murphy, Green Bay Packers President and CEO, Peter Feigin, Milwaukee Bucks President, Rick Schlesinger, Milwaukee Brewers Chief Operating Officer.
Each All-Star told their first job experiences. Before Murphy was at the helm of the Packers organization, he was a refreshment distributor at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas during Oiler games. Schlesinger got his hands dirty as a garbage man, and Feigin was working the costume department at Six Flags.
“I slopped a lot of soda during that job, and I’ve had a lot of jobs since then,” Murphy said. “But, I learned a lot. You learn how to deal with a boss, how to deal with customers.”
“My first job taught me how to be responsible, and how to be on time,” Feigin said. “Really it has carried us through today, and the Bucks’ management care more about early employment than any other topics.”
Each sports team made a significant contribution to the Earn & Learn program. They also pledged to donate items and host engagement events for program participants to motivate young people to work hard over the summer.
Schlesinger said the Brewers were hosting a job fair for Earn & Learn participants for the following day.
“As a 16-year-old at your first job, you learn life skills,” Schlesinger said. “This program the Mayor’s been fostering is not just a job. It’s not just a paycheck, these are life skills young people are going to need for their entire lives.”
Earn & Learn has placed more than 28,000 Milwaukee area teens to work since its past 11 years.
“Every American has a story and we want to make sure these are character building stories, are stories about showing up on time and what it’s like working with others,” Barrett said.
“We want to make sure the young people in this community know that we believe in you, this is the future and you are the future of this city.”
For more information on Earn & Learn visit http://city.milwaukee.gov/EarnandLearn