Reducing Barriers to Employment: Margaret
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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

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Reducing Barriers to Employment: Margaret

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At United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, we help people overcome barriers to finding permanent, family-sustaining employment. 

Despite the challenges she has faced in her life, including involvement with the justice system, Margaret is focused on building a bright future for herself and her daughter. 

“I like being the surprise factor,” said Margaret. “So I decided, with all the bad things that have happened in my life, to show the world something different.”  

“One of the best ways for people to get back on their feet after incarceration is finding stable employment,” said Milwaukee Municipal Judge Derek Mosley. “But having a felony conviction makes it very hard to become employed.” 

Margaret had been training to become a registered nurse before receiving a felony conviction. When she was released from prison in March of 2019, Margaret immediately started job hunting.

“I was looking for a job that was career-oriented and would sustain me and my family,” said Margaret. “A job where I could pay bills and put savings away.”

In 2018, the black unemployment rate in Wisconsin was nearly three times that of whites, according to American Community Survey data. 

United Way’s Diversity Leadership Society has set a goal: reduce barriers to employment and advancement, particularly for African-Americans in our community. 

Donations to United Way’s Reducing Barriers to Employment & Advancement initiative will support local programs that address the most common barriers, including education, training and credentials; transportation; history of involvement in the justice system; and retention of diverse talent in our region. 

With the support of United Way partner agency Milwaukee Urban League, Margaret found employed as a nuclear density technician for a local construction company. 

“In my current position, I have an opportunity to put on display my work ethic, my timeliness, my attention to detail,” said Margaret. “It’s very fulfilling.” 
Your donations to Reducing Barriers to Employment & Advancement will help people across our community find meaningful employment at jobs that pay a living wage where they are treated with dignity and have opportunity for advancement. Click here to give today.