Exciting news for Milwaukee’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods comes as the Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative (MAC), which includes healthcare and educational institutions, has pledged to hire more people of color and spend more with minority-owned businesses in the most challenged neighborhoods of Milwaukee. 

Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, who announced his support of MAC when it was launched last year, said the plans include a 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 of the targeted areas is 206,000, with 33% living in poverty.

The Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative is composed of Advocate Aurora HealthAscension Wisconsin, Children’s WisconsinFroedtert Health, the Medical College of WisconsinMarquette University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“Anchor collaborations have proven to be successful in many cities across the nation, and we applaud the member institutions in the MAC who are committing to using their collective economic power to employ residents, and purchase from businesses, in disinvested neighborhoods,” Alderman Rainey said.

MAC has set these goals for the City of Milwaukee:

Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative/ADD ONE

  • Collectively increase purchasing with businesses owned by people of color in the affected ZIP codes by $5 million annually by 2026
  • Collectively increase hiring of residents of color within the affected ZIP codes by 33% by 2026

To oversee these efforts, the MAC has established hiring and procurement councils as well as an advisory board, all made up of representatives from the anchor institutions.   

JobsWork MKE, a local nonprofit, spearheaded the creation of the collaborative in 2021 and has been overseeing its efforts. It is holding “matchmaking” sessions, introducing potential vendors to purchasing agents from anchor institutions.

“We look forward to further discussion of the Co-Op initiative and are confident in the Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative’s ability to uplift neighborhoods and small businesses, and anticipate seeing positive results it brings to people and businesses across Milwaukee,” Alderman Rainey said.

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