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OAAA Poised to Continue Important Workforce Development Work Under Director Nicole Brookshire

MILWAUKEE – In a unanimous 4-0 vote, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Economic and Community Development Committee today voted in favor of the confirmation of Nicole Brookshire, County Executive Chris Abele’s appointee to serve as director of the County’s Office on African American Affairs (OAAA).

OAAA’s top priority is bolstering employment within the African American community. While Milwaukee’s racial issues are complex and interrelated, increasing access to good-paying jobs for all residents is a key component of any successful strategy for addressing racial inequities.

“Nicole Brookshire has won the support of community leaders like Ralph Hollmon and Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver, as well as organizations like the NAACP, Human Rights Commission, and United Way, and now she’s won the unanimous support of the County Board’s Economic and Community Development Committee,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “I’m grateful for the support of Sups. Steve Taylor, David Sartori, John Weishan, and Luigi Schmitt, the good questions they asked, and ultimately their votes in supporting Ms. Brookshire today. I agreed with the Board in creating this Department, as well as the goals the Board has set forth in policy. I continue to believe that Nicole is the right person to lead Milwaukee County’s work to make progress towards achieving these goals and look forward to her winning the support of the full County Board.”

As director, Brookshire is leading the implementation of coordinated plans in areas that include workforce development, social justice initiatives, youth and community engagement, and other strategic areas.

OAAA is already moving the needle when it comes to workforce development, particularly through the UpLift MKE program. Since launching formally at the beginning of 2016, this program has placed more than 300 people in jobs averaging about $15 per hour with a nearly 100 percent job retention rate.

These results are phenomenal and that is because UpLift MKE is unique. Our job training and placement efforts are targeted directly to workers, particularly those in and near the Sherman Park area, who most need support to successfully climb the ladder of opportunity. The program is going so well that earlier this month it was recognized with a Human Capital award from the Wisconsin Economic Development Association.

With Ms. Brookshire at the helm, the Office on African American Affairs is poised to continue its success on workforce development and more. Ms. Brookshire’s appointment to director of the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs is made pursuant to Wisconsin Statute Sec. 59.17(2) and is still subject to confirmation by the full Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors.

Endorsements of Ms. Brookshire

“I envision Milwaukee Public Schools and the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs aligning efforts to positively change the futures for thousands of our young citizens. Nicole will do an outstanding job in her new role and has my total support,” said Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver.

“We have recently met with Nicole as a full Commission and were impressed with her experience, credentials, but most importantly her vision for the Office. We believe strongly that Nicole will make a fantastic Executive Director and move the Office forward in an efficient and engaging way,” said Jason Rae, chair of the Milwaukee County Human Rights Commission.

“Mrs. Brookshire’s educational training in accounting and business management will be a valuable skill set. Just as equally important if not more is her personal life having and raising a black family with her husband and three children in the County of Milwaukee. Such experience is invaluable and allows for a perspective that is not only diverse but important to the conversation when addressing the health and wealth gaps of Milwaukee County,” said Keith Stanley, director of Near West Side Partners.

To view the full text of these endorsements and more, click here.


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