hire-logo-2016Madison, WI (January 27, 2017) – The need is widespread and the barriers stand tall for companies building a qualified workforce and for individuals searching for stable employment. Thanks to United Way of Dane County’s HIRE Initiative, employers and job seekers are connecting, benefiting all involved.

More than 170 leaders in business and nonprofit sectors gathered at American Family Insurance Headquarters Friday morning to learn best practices for hiring a qualified, diverse workforce at the first-ever HIRE Summit.

“Many corporations in Dane County want to grow their workforce, but find that it’s difficult to discover the talent they need to be a stronger company,” said Dave Beck-Engel, Co-Chair of the HIRE Employer Council and President of JH Findorff and Son, Inc. “Our goal for the HIRE Employer Council is to bring these companies together with area nonprofits, which serve many local job seekers. Each side learns what the other needs, deepening empathy and understanding on what barriers job seekers face, and ultimately, connect and support companies with qualified candidates.”

Here’s how HIRE works: employers work together with partner agencies to create specific job training. Partner agencies work with job seekers to educate and train them effectively. The final step is to connect employers with these qualified job seekers, so they can fulfill their goal of earning family-sustaining, career-building employment.

“At today’s HIRE Summit, companies learned how to build relationships with potential employees, tap into Dane County’s diverse pool of candidates and increase retention,” said Marcia Anderson, Co-Chair of the HIRE Employer Council and Clerk of Court at Western District Bankruptcy Court of Wisconsin. “Everyone’s goal is the same – connect qualified candidates to family-sustaining jobs, which will strengthen Dane County as a whole. Dave and I are proud to lead this council and expand HIRE’s reach in our community.”

United Way founded the HIRE Initiative with American Family Insurance, which is an integral partner. More than 30 companies and nonprofits are part of the HIRE Employer Council. Since HIRE began in 2013, more than 1,345 people have found employment.

To learn more about HIRE, visit www.hireindane.com.

“HIRE exemplifies what our community is capable of when we connect and learn from each other. United Way heard from businesses, nonprofits and individuals all looking for an opportunity to align job training and hiring practices,” said Renee Moe, President and CEO of Dane County. “We are grateful to American Family Insurance CEO Jack Salzwedel, our volunteers, partners and all involved to reach our community goal of economic stability for young families and support a strong, qualified workforce in Dane County.”