the HIRE initiative

Breaking down barriers, preparing people for employment

About HIRE

At United Way of Dane County, one of our primary goals is to get more people and families on pathways out of poverty, and we know that employment is a key piece to that puzzle. So, in 2013, we launched the HIRE Initiative – a free program which focuses on helping adults prepare for and find steady employment. By working with 6 local partner agencies and x local employers, we’ve been able to help nearly 3,000 people find reliable work in our community!

1 %
of HIRE participants (or 311 individuals) landed jobs earning $15/hour or more in 2019
1
HIRE participants have received a promotion at their place of work since 2013
1 %
of 2019 HIRE participants were people of color

How it Works

In Dane County alone, we know that more than 12,000 people over the age of 25 do not have a high school degree – limiting their annual earning power drastically. We also know that many jobs go unfilled because employers can’t find workers with the right qualifications. So, we start with education.

Through our partnerships with Centro Hispano of Dane County, Just Dane, Latino Academy for Workforce Development, Urban League of Greater Madison, Literacy Network and YWCA of Madison, we connect participants with the resources they need to earn a diploma and/or go through industry-specific training. We even offer some opportunities for paid training hours for folks who are taking time away from their current jobs to gain new skills.

The HIRE Initiative aims to break down barriers that exist for people who are in need of steady employment.
So, thanks to generous donations from our community, we’re also able to offer:

A child care subsidy

so that participants can afford care for their children while they’re working to secure and maintain employment.

Housing Funds

so individuals have a resource to help them pay for moving expenses, security deposits and utility bills as they work towards a brighter future.

Micro-loans

for participants who have emergency needs. These $700 loans are interest-free, with the expectation that they’ll be repaid within a year.

How to Become a HIRE Participant

If you’re looking for some assistance to kick-start your career, we’re here to help.

We offer a way in to many different industries, including corporate/administrative, construction, food service, healthcare and more. Simply click on the button below, fill out the form and someone will be in touch to help you set goals and find the right program for you.

How to Become a HIRE Employer Partner

At United Way of Dane County, we work solely with employers that value diversity and are committed to helping individuals succeed at their company.

To us, retention is the most important thing. To make sure our partner employers are a good fit for our participants, we provide them with implicit and explicit diversity training.

Additionally, we’re looking for partner employers who are willing to provide full-time, well-paying jobs (or those that pay at least $15/hour) so that our HIRE participants are truly able to find a path out of poverty.

Does this sound like you? Contact Angela Jones, Director of Community Impact at United Way of Dane County, at angela.jones@uwdc.org or (608) 246-4376 today.

Frequently Asked Questions

• United Way of Dane County
• Centro Hispano of Dane County
• Just Dane
• Latino Academy for Workforce Development
• Literacy Network
• YWCA of Madison

Agrace HospiceCare
Alliant Energy
American Family Insurance
Aprilaire
Baker Tilly
Cairasu Home Care
Cintas Corporation
City of Madison
Cleary Building Corporation
CUNA Mutual Group
Dane County
Dane County Sheriff’s Office
DEMCO
Food Fight Restaurant Group
Hottmann Construction
Hy Cite Enterprises, LLC
Intercom
J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Laquerus
Madison Gas and Electric
Meridian Group, Inc.
Middleton-Cross Plains School District
Paul Davis Restoration
Quartz Health Solutions
ReSCI Consulting, LLC
Reynolds Transfer & Storage
Roundy’s Distribution
Senior Helpers
ShopBop/Adecco
Spherion
Stevens Construction Corp.
Summit Credit Union
TASC
The Cap Times
The Employer Group, Inc.
The Human Resource ResourceTM
The QTI Group
UnityPoint Health – Meriter
UW Credit Union
UW Health
Veridian Homes
WEA Member Benefits
Wisconsin Power and Light Company
WPS Health Solutions
Zimbrick, Inc.

For job seekers:
• It’s easy to join HIRE. Someone will help you set goals and find the right program for you!
• You can take a test to find your current reading and math level and better understand where you’re currently at.
• The partner agencies that make up HIRE are committed to helping you define a clear learning path.

For employers:
• HIRE can connect you with employees who have the skills or certifications you need.
• You can be a partner in building our future workforce and supporting the growth of our local economy.
• You can recruit employees from more diverse groups – helping your company to have a more well-rounded workforce.

Anyone 18 years or older can participate! If you want education and training to help you get a job, this is the program for you.

The HIRE initiative is completely free. No strings attached.

We know that 12,000+ adults in Dane County do not have a high school diploma, which makes it difficult for them to find a job and earn family-sustaining wages. And when many people don’t have work, our whole community is impacted. So, we started HIRE! Because we know that when people have better-paying jobs, they can provide for themselves and their families – and help stabilize our economy.

• Literacy
• Basic math
• Emotional intelligence
• Strong work ethic
• Computer basics
• Ability to plan your work schedule and effectively prioritize tasks
• Cultural competency, or respect for people who are different from you
HIRE can help you in each of these areas – we want to position you to succeed in your career, so you can be on the pathway to success each one of us deserves.

Contact Us

Angela Jones, Director of Community Impact
angela.jones@uwdc.org (608) 246-4376