It has been a busy season for Midwest Urban Strategies (MUS)! We marked our one-year anniversary in July as a formally organized consortium and at that Board meeting we welcomed the Workforce Alliance for South Central Kansas (Wichita, Kansas) and Partner4Work (Pittsburgh, Pa.) as our newest Board members. We are excited to have these two high-performing urban workforce development boards join our efforts to collaborate across the region and engage with partners in business, service, and advocacy, as we all work together to coordinate an efficient and effective Midwest workforce system.
In August, six of our members partnered together to apply for Dislocated Worker Grant funding from the Department of Labor and a month later we were notified of a $7.8 million award to help people dislocated from the workforce get the skills that they need to get back to work. This funding will reconnect more than 1,000 people to career pathways in industries like health care, advanced manufacturing, financial services, and information technology. These industries offer sustainable wages and access to benefits providing people with opportunities to grow and advance.
MUS continues to advance its priorities (including work-based learning) through its marquee effort, “Compete Midwest.” In August, MUS saw its first Registered Apprenticeship in the Financial Services industry officially recognized by the State of Wisconsin. Through the Financial Services Professional Registered Apprenticeship (FSPRA) program, Financial Planners are anticipated to grow by 15 percent as soon as 2026 and will bring more diverse planners to the industry.
As we prepare to head in to the holiday season, we reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and look forward to the opportunities ahead.
Cheers to a productive 2019!