Dozens turn out to take part in Milwaukee's Transitional Jobs program

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Dozens of people turned out to take part in Milwaukee's Transitional Jobs program on Tuesday morning, December 9th. The City of Milwaukee brought together 16 employers to take part.

The Transitional Jobs program provides individuals with short-term work to help participants gain skills and experience while working under the direct supervision of city supervisors. These workers have had the opportunity to work in any of the eight Department of Public Works divisions: Water, Sanitation, Electrical, Sewers, Parking, Fleet Services and Forestry. The goal is to employ them in full-time positions.

"We know it's easier to look for a job from a job. you feel better about yourself, you've got the momentum, you've got the rhythm," said Mayor Tom Barrett.

Barrett added an additional 75 six-month Transitional Jobs positions to the program in June after an overwhelming response to the original 25 positions created to fill potholes after last year’s harsh winter.

Those who took advantage of Tuesday's program believe in it.

"Transitional Program is a great program to be in, it might be 6 months, you might get hired on after six months," said Anthony Wingo, a job seeker.

City leaders hope the program will be just the first step to even bigger things.

"It's one thing to say I want to work, it's also one thing to say I want to build off that first or second work experience and make a career out of it," said Earl Buford of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.

The Transitional Job Program in Milwaukee will offer even more opportunities in 2015. After 100 people took part this year, funding was increased to allow the DPW to hire 130 people for the program next year.