Milwaukee — Linda Stewart, Secretary-designate of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, today announced the selection of the service provider agencies for Wisconsin Works. The announcement was made Thursday, Jan. 30, at Schlitz Park in Milwaukee.
“I am excited by the commitment and enthusiasm of the counties, tribes and the contracted agencies,” Stewart said. “They are eager to begin offering the kind of long-term services that will change lives for the better.
“As Governor Tommy Thompson noted in his State of the State speech last night, these W-2 agencies will act as catalysts to fully integrate welfare recipients into the lives of the larger community. The agencies will involve employers, civic leaders, community-based organizations, and people of hope and good will everywhere.”
“We will leave no one behind,” Stewart vowed.
In Milwaukee, W-2 will be administered by (arranged according to area):
1. YW-Works, a new consortium consisting of CNR Health, Kaiser Group, and the YWCA. Julia Taylor, CEO; Milwaukee, WI 414/374-1800
2. United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS)
Lupe Martinez, president, Milwaukee, WI 414/671-5700
3. Opportunities Industrialization Center of Greater Milwaukee (OIC) William Clay, vice president, COO, Milwaukee, WI
4. Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wis.
John L. Miller, president; William S. Martin, director of programs; Milwaukee, WI 414/353-6400
5. Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wis.
Holly Payne, president, McLean, Virginia; George Leutermann, vice president, Wauwatosa, WI 414/479-9494
Secretary Stewart said “the competition was strong; the proposals are innovative. The bidders are well experienced in helping people leave hopelessness behind so that they can take their rightful places as productive members of Wisconsin’s growing workforce.”
· Sixty-one counties and three tribes earned and exercised the right of first selection:
Adams, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Brown, Buffalo, Burnett, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Door, Dunn, Eau Claire, Florence, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Iowa, Iron, Jackson, Jefferson, Kenosha, La Crosse, Lafayette, Langlade, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Monroe, Oconto, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Racine, Richland, Rock, Rusk, St. Croix, Sauk, Sawyer, Sheboygan, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon, Washburn, Washington, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago and Wood counties, and Bad River, Lac du Flambeau, and Oneida Tribes.
· In addition to Milwaukee County, contracts will be awarded for these counties:
Douglas Douglas Co. Human Services
Forest Forward Service Corp.
Green Lake Green Lake Human Services
Juneau Western WI. P.I.C.
Kewaunee Forward Service Corp.
Oneida Forward Service Corp.
Shawano Shawano Job Center
Vilas Foward Service Corp.
Walworth Kaiser Group Inc.
The agencies will be contracted to begin work in March and to fully implement W-2 by September 1. Contracts are scheduled to run through December 1999.
All W-2 agencies are responsible for moving people :
· Eligibility determination, financial and employment planning
· Job development and placement
· Work preparation
· Collaborative resource development and
· Support services, such as child care and transportation.
All providers throughout the state will be advised by local W-2 Community Steering Committees — composed of employers, community-based organizations, service club members, and other civic leaders.
Secretary Stewart said she was impressed by the positive approaches and original thinking the selected W-2 agencies will utilize. For instance, one Milwaukee agency will set up a 24-hour-a-day hotline to help solve every-day problems, such as a car that won’t start, before they become crises. Another successful Milwaukee bidder will keep its offices open when working people need them, on all three shifts, rather than the usual 9 to 5.
In rural Juneau County, the W-2 agency will use a subcontractor to work with employers to specifically address their needs and to determine the skill level required for each job opening. In Walworth County, the agency is identifying employers’ capacity for training and integrating W-2 participants into their workforce. The agency will help upgrade workplace supervisors’ training ability, if needed.
Milwaukee County was divided into six geographic areas so that contractors could concentrate on smaller caseloads, better develop neighborhood identities, and make closer attachments to community business and civic organizations in strengthening the social environment.
After receiving bids by the November 15 deadline, the Department evaluated the proposals, which ranged to as many as 900 pages, on such issues as children’s services, coordination and collaboration, management philosophy, and references. In-depth oral interviews for were then conducted in Milwaukee over a three-day period last week and in Madison over a two-day period earlier this month.
W-2 provides generous child care subsidies for any working parent whose income falls within 165 percent of the federal poverty level ($21,500 for a family of three). Health care is also provided to W-2 participants.
The first two counties to completely implement W-2 will be Pierce and Fond du Lac, starting March 1. Two years ago, both began a W-2 predecessor program, Work Not Welfare.
The AFDC caseload in December in Wisconsin numbered 45,148 families, down 31.5 percent from 12 months earlier. Milwaukee County had 27,189 cases, down 21.7 percent from the year before.