Dane County Executive Parisi, Urban League and Latino Academy of Workforce Development Announce
September 01, 2016
Stephanie Miller 608-267-8823
Today- Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, the Urban League and the Latino Academy of Workforce Development announced they will be partnering to reduce employment disparities by assisting African American and Latinos receive their commercial driver’s license (CDL) through a pilot project. The program is aimed at diversifying the county workforce and helping more people obtain family supporting jobs. There are significant employment disparities in Dane County and Wisconsin for minorities.
“This is a nuts and bolts program that will help more people in our community obtain family supporting jobs,” said Dane County Executive Parisi. “A CDL is a step into higher paying, family supporting jobs. I am proud to partner on this initiative to give more people an opportunity for success.”
The ten week program started late this summer and will help train candidates to receive their CDL, receive mentoring and on the job experience. While going through the training programs, candidates will be paid and the cost of their CDL will be paid for by the program. Upon successful completion of the pilot, the intention is to run the training program twice a year.
Dane County will provide mentors during training for the candidates through the Dane County Highway and Solid Waste Divisions to help enhance knowledge, oversee training and daily work activities of the candidates. Dane County will provide the vehicles and equipment to the candidates that will be needed for training.
Dane County has many departments that require a CDL including: the Dane County Airport, the Parks Department, the Henry Vilas Zoo, the Alliant Energy Center, the Highway Department and the Solid Waste Division. The program is intended to not only assist with an important asset to being eligible for employment but to also develop and enhance the skills of candidates so they will be highly competitive when they apply for job openings in Dane County. Four candidates are in the first class of the pilot program that pays while they work to obtain their CDL and receive on the job experience. Additionally a CDL can help open the door to many family supporting jobs.
“I am very pleased to partner with Dane County on the Commercial Driver’s Licensing (CDL) program,” said Ruben Anthony, President and CEO of the Urban League. “Having a CDL will create the possibility for the participants to be competitive, not only for jobs with Dane County, but in a wide variety of industries that need workers who have a CDL. This training will create a pathway to jobs that pay sustainable, family supporting wages.”
The Urban League and the Latino Academy of Workforce Development will provide additional training to the candidates in how to interview and prepare for written examinations. The Urban League and the Latino Academy will also select the candidates.
"The Latino Academy of Workforce Development is honored to partner with Dane County and be part of this proactive approach to diversify the workforce in our community,” said Norma Gallegos Valles, Co-director of the Latino Academy of Workforce Development. “Latino Academy, Urban League and an Executive's Office Representative sat down and discussed barriers to employment and created an innovative internship. We provide a support system, on-the-job mentors and build confidence in our candidates in a culturally competent way. As a result, we have the best qualified candidates on a pathway to better socioeconomic and educational opportunities."