City of

District 1

Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney

Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney

Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney,
Council Vice President

Contact Information

Home Address:

1209 Dayflower Drive
Madison , WI 53719

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Harrington-McKinney’s Updates

Sustainable Employment - Workforce Development Opportunity for the Southwest Side

November 13, 2017 3:21 PM

Dear Neighbor 

Tonight the Common Council will begin consideration of Madison's 2018 Budget.

All Alders have received an unprecedented number of calls supporting the public market, police staffing levels  and concerns regarding ParaTransit funding. 

District 1 - Impacts: Police Staffing And Parkedge/Parkridge Employment Center 

I would like to hear your thoughts. As a city we face challenges in gaining/maintaining entry level employment opportunities. Family sustaining jobs provide both  a decent wage as well as have predictable and stable hours. A career progression is important as well. Industries need to talk about careers instead of jobs. In the Fall of 2016, the Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative conducted an asset inventory of the Park Edge Park Ridge Neighborhood. Their report identified 59 assets in the neighborhood, most serving children and Youth populations through educational programming. Of the six most common asset types identified, "Employment" programming was the least prevalent. In order to meet community needs and expectations, the Urban League has set up operations at a temporary location. Remaining at the current location on Gammon Road for the long term is not a viable long term option. The space is small; roughly 900 sq.ft. The computer lab can hold a maximum of 9 people with a second classroom accommodating 10. Preferred Maximum student efficiency is 25-30 participants per class. 

The upcoming entry level training collaborative with Exact Science was built upon an expectation that the expanded PE/PR Employment Center located at the former Griff's would be under construction. Exact Science anticipates their hiring for their new lab will ramp up by mid-2018. This project was bid out twice, with the second bids coming in over the budget allocated. This is a small project, and with such an abundance of higher  valued construction projects the addition funding for the project is $400.000. There have been other recent City of Madison projects that have come in over bid. The 2016 Adopted Capital Budget authorized $1.0M in GO borrowing to fund renovation and construction of the PEPR Employment Center located at 1233 McKenna Boulevard. My Amendment will establish the Park Edge/Park Ridge Employment Center as a stand-alone project. Based on the revised timeline the new facility will open in the 4th Quarter of 2018. Under this timeline the Urban League will continue to operate out of its temporary leased space at 

The purpose of the Capital #2 amendment is twofold: First to be lazer clear on the importance of completing the Parkedge/Parkridge Employment Center. As we become more racially and socioeconomically diverse, is everyone experiencing these advantages? The Employment Center will contribute to sustainability in our southwest side neighborhoods, support a robust economy built on quality of life, a skilled workforce which offers opportunitities at the entry levels spectrum. Providing opportunities for Youth and undersevered adults in these southwest side neighborhoods: workforce readiness, training, internships, skilled coaching pathways that will contribute to building a strong economy and workforce. Th PEPR Employment Center brings hope to this area, and can do much to help change the negative narrative through employment and training opportunities with a focus on Youth and underemployed young adults. Please contact Alders to support the additional funding to complete the construction of the ParkEdge/ParkRidge Employment Center. There is dignity in making such an Investment in strengthening the long term workforce by supporting career pathways for youth and underemployed adults in neighborhoods with limited economic opportunities, prepare for good jobs that pay living wages, provide stability, offer benefits and create opportunities for career advancement. Second, reason for the amendment was intentionally to separate the long-term vision of the expansion of Elver Park that distracted from THE #1 GOAL OF OPENING PARKEDGE/PARKRIDGE EMPLOYMENT CENTER IN THE FOURTH QUARTER OF 2018 WOULD BE COUNTEPRODUCTIVE.  There is a "now" sense of urgency for the Employment Center serving in our neighborhoods of greatest needs. The PEPR Employment Center must not be distracted by voices that say "wait". Police reported that the Crossings Complex between January - August 27 had 394 calls for Service. No other complex in the West District has received the same volume of calls. 

Why is there a sense of urgency:

High concentration of poverty. Chronic unemployment. Disinvestment in our neighborhoods. Job deserts with few sustainable, entry level career opportunities. Neighborhood based hiring. Coloration with the Urban League and Exact Science provides a commitment to support a neighborhood-based hiring program that would help find, develop talent while connecting with the community. 

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