6 years ago

Summer Youth Work Program LEAPs into Action

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn, together with Alds. Willie Wade, Miele Coggs, Ashanti Hamilton and our valued community partners on Friday announced a new program that will enable Milwaukee teens to gain critical job skills and work experience while also allowing for regular communication and interaction with Milwaukee police.

LEAP (Learn, Earn and Achieve with Police) identifies promising young people and prepares them for future workforce and civic success. In LEAP, the Milwaukee Police Department, LISC Milwaukee, and the city of Milwaukee’s Earn and Learn program are collaborating to strengthen communication between Milwaukee teens and police, preparing teens for future career success and introducing Milwaukee companies to a diverse group of Milwaukee’s future workforce.


“Job readiness and the development of job skills are critical for young people to develop so they can be successful upon entering the workforce and in pursuing a career or a good job,” Alderman Wade said.

Alderman Wade said the LEAP program provides paid work with area businesses that can help build work readiness skills and valuable experience opportunities for Milwaukee teens who are enrolled in the STOP (Students Talking it Over with Police) program. Students will work at area businesses to learn first-hand how to apply the skills they’ve learned in school and through STOP to the workplace, Alderman Wade said.


Participating companies employ teens, ages 17-19, 20 hours per week for eight weeks, June 18 through August 10, Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, interns participate in the Milwaukee Police Department STOP Program. Companies contribute a flat rate of $2,000 for participation and interns are paid between $7.25 and $9.00 per hour.

Participating employers include Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Educators Credit Union, Harley-Davidson, KBS Construction, LISC, Marquette University, Northwestern Mutual, The PrivateBank, Roundy’s, Taylor Dynamometer, US Bank, and Wheaton Franciscan-St. Joseph.

Teen interns are selected from the north side neighborhoods of Harambee, Lindsay Heights, and Washington Park, and south side neighborhoods of Clarke Square and Layton Boulevard West. These are LISC’s five “Sustainable Communities”.

LEAP Partners

  • The MPD’s STOP Program is designed to improve communication and build trust between police and teens. STOP was developed to educate young people on the nature of police work and explain the reasons that law-abiding citizens might find themselves interacting with police officers. Students who participate in STOP receive a photo ID, a T-shirt, and certificate of completion.
  • LISC’s mission is to help transform distressed urban neighborhoods into healthy communities of choice and opportunity—great places to work, do business, and raise children. LISC will work with Manpower Group to provide payroll services and supervision for participating teens. An adult team leader will maintain regular contact with the youth and employers at all work sites. Teens will be recruited from the five central city neighborhoods where LISC focuses its development efforts.
  • Earn and Learn is the City of Milwaukee’s program to help young people make a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood by providing opportunities to develop work-readiness skills while they earn wages working in government, community- and faith-based organizations and private sector businesses. The Earn & Learn program will accept job orders from participating companies, help screen and match qualified students to fill job orders, and provide support and technical assistance to participating companies.

(photo courtesy of Dr. Tom Lifvendahl)

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