More low-income Milwaukee young men will receive jobs and entrepreneurship training as a result of a $200,000 grant recently announced by Gov. Scott Walker and WHEDA to Operation DREAM, the non-profit group said Tuesday.
Operation DREAM Board President Giacomo Fallucca said the grant would allow his organization to reach 40% more young men in its “Operation Work” program over the next year, boosting the number of teens served from 60 to 84.
“Thanks to this critical funding from Gov. Walker, Wyman Winston of WHEDA as well as the Greater Wisconsin Opportunities Fund, more at-risk young African-American men in Milwaukee will gain valuable work experience and mentoring needed to help them pursue careers,” Fallucca said. “We’re honored to have been one of the groups the governor and WHEDA selected to help address significant issues facing Milwaukee neighborhoods.”
The funds, made available through the Greater Wisconsin Opportunities Fund Entrepreneurship Training Grant, were awarded to Operation Work, an advanced program within Operation DREAM. Operation Work is a hands-on, incentive-based program for young black men ages 12 -18 in which they learn fundamental employment skills, the value of self-sufficiency and the opportunities for entrepreneurship in Milwaukee. The program includes classroom education, tours of local businesses, mentoring and employment training, as well as placement and continuing support in Milwaukee area businesses.
The grant was part of a $4.5 million state investment for Milwaukee’s central city that Walker announced last month to help existing programs and provide additional resources for employment and blight-elimination programs.