June Community Conversation

In June, Deloitte Consulting graciously hosted BVN as we held our Community Conversation, this time focused on job readiness. As we know, nearly 64,000 people in Dane County live in poverty. Lack of family-supporting wage jobs is a primary contributor to this community crisis. In addition, lack of access to education, skills, quality childcare and other community supports also present barriers to economic stability.

United Way is focused on tackling these issues at the root cause. United Way’s multi-generational approach combines work in job training and employment, housing, and early childhood support to break the cycle of poverty. One key element of this work is our HIRE Education Employment Initiative – a United Way program that ensures families are linked to employment and career ladders.

At this month’s gathering, BVN members heard from Maggie den Daas, Talent & Organizational Development Consultant at UW Credit Union, Shawn Steen, Director of Volunteer Services at Literacy Network, Ray Allen, Director of the Workforce Development Team at Urban League and Faatima Khan, former Bilingual Career Pathways Specialist & Program Manager at Centro Hispano.

It is through this panel that we learned the importance of the training programs that exist in nonprofits in our community. These development programs help bring all of our community members to a higher level so they have similar skills and knowledge when entering the workforce. “These participants just need to be given the tools and opportunities to succeed.” What is phenomenal is that we have employers, some of whom are our very own BVN companies, who are making these opportunities a reality. In 2018, through HIRE Initiative job training, 1,254 individuals in Dane County found employment!