Federal funding for workforce development dates back to 1973 when the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) was enacted. The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) replaced CETA in 1982, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) replaced JTPA in 1998, and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) replaced WIA in 2014. WIOA remains the current federal funding mechanism for workforce development and is primarily administered by the US Department of Labor (DOL) with additional governance and funding administered by other federal agencies.
The agency that primarily administers the federal workforce system on behalf of the State of Wisconsin is the Department of Workforce Development. The state workforce development board in Wisconsin is the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment.
The Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB) was established in 2007 when the Private Industry Council (PIC) of Milwaukee County - the agency that had previously served as the federally funded workforce development agency for Milwaukee County since the 1980’s - was renamed and oversight by the Chief Local Elected Official was transferred from Milwaukee County to the City of Milwaukee. The agency continued to focus on county-wide workforce investment programs with agency governance provided through a Board of Directors. In 2014, a new President/CEO was appointed who, together with the Board of Directors, initiated a strategic transformation initiative which resulted in a demand-driven workforce development board rebranded as Employ Milwaukee in 2016.
Vision & Mission
Employ Milwaukee is the local workforce development board serving Milwaukee County. By convening leaders from business and industry, economic and workforce development, education and training as well as community partners and policy makers, our vision is to develop workforce solutions that promote regional economic growth and employment opportunity for all job seekers.
Our mission is to build a strong workforce development system by planning, coordinating, collaborating and monitoring workforce initiatives with businesses, partners and community stakeholders at the local, regional and state level to ensure a skilled and productive workforce for the 21st Century.
Our goals are to connect job seekers to employment opportunities, to provide education and training options in high-growth, high-demand sectors, and to provide a skilled and sustainable workforce to attract, retain and grow diverse businesses in our Milwaukee 7 region.
WDA 2 Workforce System
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires that each state designate Workforce Development Areas (WDAs) to balance labor supply and demand within a local workforce system. Employ Milwaukee is the state-certified Workforce Development Board (WDB) serving Milwaukee County, also referred to as WDA 2. Employ Milwaukee invests and leverages federal, state and local funding to serve and connect unemployed, under-employed and incumbent workers to businesses and industry.
Employ Milwaukee convenes and collaborates with partners to lead efforts in WDA 2 to align workforce development services and investment with education and training programs to supply skilled and educated workers to employers. The WDA 2 labor supply is represented by organizations and agencies serving on the Coordinating Council who engage with job seekers and students to connect clients to the workforce system and to promote career pathway and training programs and recruitment/hiring events. The WDA 2 labor demand is represented by employers and associations serving on Industry Advisory Boards who define occupational skills, credential and certification requirements and request customized training and candidate recruitment services from Employ Milwaukee’s business services staff.
The WDA 2 workforce system extends across county lines and WDA boundaries to connect Milwaukee County’s workforce to regional employers and education/training partners. Milwaukee County employers are also connected to regional labor supply through the adjacent local workforce development boards and systems within the Milwaukee 7 region.