Milwaukee County Labor Council AFL-CIO

May 25, 2016

Hire Center

Milwaukee Hire Center


Retraining and Re-employment Services for
Dislocated Workers in Milwaukee County

816 W. National Avenue 2nd Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53204
414-385-6920   fax 414-385-6930
Contact us

About the Hire Center

The HIRE Center is a specialty Job Center providing re-employment and retraining services for dislocated workers residing in or laid off from employment in Milwaukee County. Located on the second floor of the Milwaukee Enterprise Center - South building located at 816 W. National Ave. in Milwaukee, HIRE is operated by the HIRE Milwaukee Consortium, which includes these partner organizations:

What Is a Dislocated Worker?

Generally speaking, a dislocated worker is a worker who has suffered a layoff with little likelihood of return to previous employment or who has been notified by the employer of impending job loss due to a plant closing or substantial layoff. Certain displaced homemakers may also qualify for dislocated worker services. To be eligible, the homemaker must have lost a vital source of income due to death, divorce, separation, or disability; and be unemployed or underemployed and having difficulty finding self-sufficient employment. For questions about eligibility, contact

Services Available Through the Hire Center

All services are free of charge to dislocated workers and employers.

Services available only for eligible Dislocated Workers

Services for the general public

Rapid Response services for workers and employers involved in plant closings and mass layoffs

Purpose of Services

The Dislocated Worker Program is a re-employment and retraining program with an emphasis on providing services needed for dislocated workers to obtain new employment at a level of wages and working conditions that approaches or improves upon their previous employment. To achieve this goal, a range of services are provided that include vocational assessment and counseling, case management, occupational retraining, adult basic education, literacy and language skills, computer skills, on-the-job training, job seeking skills preparation, job development and placement assistance.

Occupational Retraining

A dislocated worker may receive funding for tuition, books and certain other educational expenses associated with a wide range of occupational classroom training options provided through programs appearing on a state list of approved training programs.

Personalized Employment Counseling — Case Management

Dislocated workers being served at the HIRE Center work with a case manager who coordinates services throughout the length of the individual's participation in the program up to and including placement and a post-placement retention period. Follow-up services are available up to one year after placement.

Adult Basic Education and HIRE Center Learning Lab

Funding may be provided for costs associated with basic computer literacy, basic educational remediation, GED preparation, instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL), and other special needs affecting employability. The HIRE Center provides MATC-instructed GED preparation, math remediation and other Adult Basic Education services through the in-house Leonard Tipton Memorial Learning Lab, which is open Monday through Thursday year-round.

On the Job Training (OJT) Benefit

The Dislocated Worker Program may reimburse a new employer up to 50% of the worker's wage level for a new job provided that the employer offers training on the job that adds to the worker's occupational skills. The length of the OJT reimbursement incentive depends on the complexity of the training required.

Placement Assistance

Dislocated workers receive a range of placement services, from resume writing to personal contacts with employers to identify good employment matches. HIRE has a network of employers who participate in various Center activities, including the HIRE Center Employer Roundtable, the Manufacturing Sector Focus Group and the Health Care Sector Focus Group.

Resource Center

The HIRE Center has a Resource Center with Internet access to numerous on-line job search sites, including Wisconsin JobNet, as well as self-assessment programs, occupational training information, family budgeting tools, resume writing software and job search reference materials. HIRE placement staff pre-screen Internet job listings for wage levels and other job characteristics appropriate for dislocated workers, and these postings are available on Resource Center computers. The Resource Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Fridays. It is available to the general public.

Job Seeking Skills Workshop

HIRE conducts a regular series of job search skills workshop modules open to dislocated workers and other job-seekers. These workshop modules focus on preparation for career decision-making, resumes and cover letters, online job search and applications, employer research, and interviewing skills.

Job Club

The HIRE Job Club is an informal job search networking group that meets every Tuesday at 10 a.m. to noon at the HIRE Center. HIRE case managers and employment specialists facilitate these meetings, which include discussions of current job leads, employer requirements, and job search tips, along with special weekly presentations on specific themes. Job Club brings outside expertise in various specific employment and training areas (labor law attorneys, motivational speakers, career development experts, employers, etc. Job Club is open to the general public.

Spanish/English Bilingual Services

The HIRE Center Bilingual Team provides services to limited-English Latino dislocated workers and develops special bilingual occupational retraining projects.

Rapid Response Services for Plant Closings and Mass Layoffs

Pre-layoff Worker Orientations

When notified of a plant closing or mass layoff (10 or more job eliminations), the HIRE Center Rapid Response Team contacts the employer and union, if applicable, to set up a planning session aimed at providing an on-site orientation to inform workers about the publicly funded resources available to them, including the Dislocated Worker Program.

Grant Development

If the need resulting from the mass layoff or closing is greater than the funding available, the HIRE Center will develop a grant application to the State of Wisconsin or the US Department of Labor for special project funding to provide the needed services.

Peer Counselor Training

HIRE can arrange for the training of a set of in-plant peer counselors in cases where substantial advance notice has been given of a sizeable dislocation. Peer counselors are workers who are given several hours of training about the Dislocated Worker Program and other resources for retraining and re-employment. They are then charged with disseminating that information among their co-workers to maximize opportunities.

Source of Funding for HIRE Center Services

Dislocated worker services are provided under funding by the federal Workforce Investment Act and administered at the federal, state and local levels respectively by the US Department of Labor, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and the local Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.