Hiring and corporate spending in Milwaukee’s lowest-income ZIP codes could increase significantly under a new program announced today by some of the area’s biggest employers.
The Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative, comprised of major healthcare and educational institutions, has pledged to hire more people of color, and spend more with minority-owned businesses in the disadvantaged neighborhoods.
In anchor collaboratives, which are forming in cities nationwide, member organizations commit to using their collective economic power to employ residents and purchase from businesses in disinvested neighborhoods.
The Milwaukee collaborative launches with seven institutions:
- Advocate Aurora Health
- Ascension Wisconsin
- Children’s Wisconsin
- Froedtert Health
- The Medical College of Wisconsin
- Marquette University
- The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Participation in the collaborative advances the university’s strategic efforts identified in Beyond Boundaries, and the theme of Social Responsibility through Community Engagement. As a leading anchor institution in our community, it aligns with the goal of developing and implementing local procurement and hiring practices to increase our economic impact within the City of Milwaukee.
The collaborative will focus on hiring residents and purchasing from businesses in eight Milwaukee ZIP codes: 53204, 53205, 53206, 53208, 53210, 53212, 53216 and 53233. The combined population is 206,000, with 33% living in poverty.
The collaborative is currently setting goals to significantly increase employment and spending in these ZIP codes. They expect to announce details this fall.
JobsWork MKE spearheaded the creation of the collaborative. The nonprofit prepares its participants – people living in poverty – to achieve economic self-sufficiency through sustainable employment.
The anchor institutions seek to fill a wide range of high-demand, mid-skill positions – from phlebotomists and medical assistants to facilities maintenance workers and administrative assistants. The anchors also are joining forces to purchase services and supplies, ranging from janitorial and mechanical to medical equipment repair and IT.
Research shows anchor collaboratives across the country are making significant impacts in their communities. The Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative is based on these successful models.