April 1, Madison (WI) – The Urban League of Greater Madison today announced that it has launched a new COVID-19 Workforce Recovery Initiative. The initiative will bring to bear the Urban League’s infrastructure and experience to help job seekers and employers meet current and future workforce needs.
“Since the pandemic struck, we have heard from and read about growing numbers of workers who have lost work. Simultaneously, we have heard from employers who have an immediate need to fill jobs. In sticking with our demand-driven workforce development model, the Urban League is uniquely positions to serve as a match-maker between these two group,” said Urban League CEO, Ruben L. Anthony, Jr.
The effort will be two-pronged in its focus:
First will be a focus on job seekers – both those who have been temporarily furloughed or permanently displaced as a result of the pandemic. Second will be a focus on employers – both helping them meet immediate needs for workers and helping them rebuild their workforce as we transition out of the current situation.
“We are grateful for collaborative and innovative efforts like this to support employers and workers during this unprecedented challenge,” said Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce President Zach Brandon. “The Urban League is a vital resource for our community in providing rapid-response action to accelerate both the relief and recovery efforts underway.”
Other business community partners on this effort include Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP), Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way HIRE Initiative. Also integral to this effort are the Urban League’s longtime financial supporters including the Rennebohm Foundation, United Way, City of Madison, Dane County and many others.
The initiative will be led by Ray Allen, the Urban League’s Workforce Development Division Director. Allen came to the Urban League a little over a year ago having most recently served as the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. His expertise will be critical to helping the Madison region make its way through this difficult time.
MadREP CEO Paul Jadin noted that “one reason our organization has had such a strong partnership with the Urban League is their ability to be nimble and responsive to the needs of businesses in our region. This is another example of their demand-driven approach.”
The Urban League has already identified a wide range of employers and needs in industries including manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and others. Our team will be available virtually to provide coaching, resume and interview prep, and matchmaking. The League is also close to launching online versions of some of its successful career academies. For employers, the League is able to provide a pool of candidates pre-screened to meet their hiring needs.
The Urban League is calling on the community to support this effort in two important ways:
1. Help spread the word to workers who have been hurt by furloughs, layoffs, reduced hours, or other impacts to their employment situation. Call us at (608) 729-1234 or apply online at ulgm.org/employment
2. If you are an employer in need of workers now, please call Ray Allen at (608) 729-1233
The Urban League made an ambitious commitment to 1,500 job placements by 2020. “We will not waiver from that commitment,” said Anthony. “In fact, it’s clear we’re needed now more than ever!