Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization: Groundbreaking new organization to recruit, train workers and connect with employers in Bucks arena district launched

Contact:  Janet Veum, janet.veum@seiu.org, (202) 230-2143

MASH begins screening, training for potential employees today

MILWAUKEE — To implement the next steps of an innovative agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks for job standards within the new arena and surrounding development, the Alliance for Good Jobs launched the Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization today.

Known as MASH, the new organization serves as a hub to recruit, train and place workers in jobs in and near the new Bucks arena and connect them with employers covered by the agreement.

“Through this partnership we’re continuing to create jobs that pay family supporting wages while providing opportunities for those living in the hardest hit districts in the city,” said Alex Lasry, Bucks Senior Vice President. “As we’ve consistently said, this project will benefit the entire city, not just downtown.”

Recruitment begins today for arena district jobs available beginning in June.  In the coming weeks, MASH will announce job fairs to be hosted during the spring. People interested in service jobs in the arena district can visit MASHworkers.org or email info@MASHworkers.org to apply.

“As an organization of service and hospitality workers, MASH will work at the intersection of employer and worker needs to address the challenges they face and transform employment, the industry, and our community,” said Peter Rickman, executive director of MASH.

Under the agreement:

  • All service and hospitality jobs in the arena district will be filled exclusively through MASH.

  • Working closely with employers, MASH will recruit, screen and train people specifically for those jobs.

  • Half of all jobs in the district will be filled by people living in targeted ZIP codes in parts of the city hit hardest by low wages and high unemployment.

  • Workers will be paid a minimum of $12.50 an hour in 2018, increasing to $15 by 2023.

  • Workers have the right to form a union through a free and fair process.

“MASH means my life will be changed with higher wages and a real career,” said Jeffrey Greer, a lifelong Milwaukee resident who works in property services at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and Miller Park. “For the first time in my life I believe I can start a family and retire someday.”

Beyond providing a stream of pre-screened, qualified workers to employers in the arena development area, MASH intends to transform the service industry here by improving retention and reducing turnover for employers through ongoing employee development programs while also offering workers a career ladder to increasingly better jobs.

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