Employment and Training Institute research has focused on
labor market issues for African Americans, Hispanics and other
non-white populations as critical to addressing housing integration and
economic concerns in
local communities. The Institute prepared a series of report cards on
hiring practices and challenges for Milwaukee area companies and
tables showing diversity (and non-diversity) of employment by
place-of-work and residence for every U.S. census tract, and offers
critiques of the paradigms imbedded in academic measures of segregation in
Mass Incarceration of African American Males: Workforce Challenges for 2013 (2013)
Among the most critical workforce issues facing Wisconsin are governmental policies and practices leading
to mass incarceration of African Americans men and suspensions of driving privileges to low-income
This report used two decades of Wisconsin Department of Corrections prison files to
assess levels of imprisonment of African Americans from Milwaukee County. The data showed 26,222 black men
incarcerated in state correctional facilities from 1990 to 2012. A staggering 53% of men in their 30s have
already served time in state prison as have over a fourth of black men in their 20s. The 2010 U.S. Census counts
showed Wisconsin having the highest rates of incarceration for African American men of working age in local jails and
state prisons in the U.S.
Statewide Imprisonment of Black Men in Wisconsin (2014)
State Department of Corrections records showed incarceration rates for African American men at epidemic levels
throughout Wisconsin and not just in Milwaukee County. As previously reported, over half of African
American men of prime working age (30-44 years) from Milwaukee County have served time in state prison
or are currently incarcerated. In the rest of Wisconsin (outside Milwaukee County), a staggering 43%
of African American men in the 30-44 year age cohort have also been incarcerated in state correctional facilities. For most ex-offenders, their prison records remain public and impediments to employment for the rest of their lives.
Workforce recommendations are presented to increase public safety, support sustained employment, and strengthen families.
Make African American males the state’s #1 jobs priority for job creation, training, and education, given Wisconsin’s history of mass incarceration of black men and outlier in the United States for imprisonment of black males.
Modify the Wisconsin Circuit Court’s CCAP public internet postings and municipal court public website postings to stop publishing all ex-offenders’ charges and offenses for life.
Divert technical violators of Department of Corrections’ probation, parole and extended supervision rules to community programs and change the rules to focus on more meaningful conditions supporting employment wherever possible.
Provide comprehensive employment training and job placement programs for black male youth.
Restore state school aids ensuring free driver’s education in school districts where the families of more than half of the students are poor or near poor.
Support driver’s license recovery programs locally and statewide for ex-offenders and non-offenders and allow community service work as compensation for license violations.
Reestablish the collection and public dissemination of race-specific data on traffic stop racial profiling and other criminal justice disparity monitoring measures supported by
Wisconsin governors Tommy Thompson, Scott McCallum, and Jim Doyle.
In Wisconsin African Americans make up 5% of the adult population but 41% of the prison population. State electoral
policies further increase the racial divide between state decision-makers and those most impacted by their criminal justice
- Ex-felons under supervision of the Department of Corrections as well as persons in prison and jail are not allowed to vote
- The driver's license is used as the primary form of identification required for voting in Wisconsin even though
licensing rates of white adults are nearly double the licensing rates for African Americans. See
The Driver License Status of the Voter Age Population
- The legislature counts prisoners as part of the residential population at the jurisdiction where their prison is located
rather than at their home address -- thus increasing the political representation for rural areas of
the state where prisons are cited and decreasing representation for the home neighborhoods of ex-offenders.
In Milwaukee and Dane counties (among others) jury pools are selected from state Department of Motor
Vehicle lists of persons with driver’s licenses and DMV-issued state IDs (and the DMV records are
used to generate “current” mailing addresses for potential jurors) even though
these administrative data bases have been found by the courts to underrepresent African Americans
and Latinos and low-income residents. Poverty neighborhoods in Milwaukee County disproportionately
show suspended driver’s licenses for debt collection (rather than unsafe driving) problems.
Is a "Milwaukee Plan" Needed for Construction Trade
Over 40 years after Milwaukee construction firms and unions committed to increased hiring of African American,
Hispanic, Native American, and Asian apprentices, Milwaukee minorities remain excluded from an equitable share of
skilled construction trade jobs. What now appears needed is an enforceable MILWAUKEE PLAN to train the current
and future workforce and to retool for future building projects in the community and state. One approach
is to set goals for training of your African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian men based on consideration of
the race/ethnicity of the resident male teen populations ages 14 through 17 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census
(and 20 through 23 in 2016). In the City of Milwaukee this male teen population is 84% minority (i.e., 55% African
Americans, 22% Hispanics, 4% Asians, 1% Native Americans, and 2% persons of more than 1 race). In the four-county
metro area, this male teen population is 42% minorities (including 23% African Americans, 12% Hispanics, 3%
Asians, 1% Native Americans, and 3% persons of more than 1 race).
Who's Training Milwaukee's Future Builders?
Race/Ethnicity of Construction Trade Apprentices (2013)
Of 643 apprentices with union construction firms in the Milwaukee metro area in April 2013, only 65 were African
Americans, 53 Latinos, and 8 Asian Americans. Of 175 non-union apprentices, only 10 were African Americans, 16
Latinos, 1 Native American, and 1 Asian American. It is difficult for companies to hire and train apprentices while
their experienced workers are on lay-off or only employed part-time. At the same time, there is a public interest
in supporting training for the future construction industry workforce and for investments in increased participation of
minorities, and particularly African Americans and Latino males, in the construction industry in Milwaukee County.
Who's Building Milwaukee?
Race/Ethnicity of Employees in the Largest Construction Firms (2013)
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission requires all companies with 100 or more
workers to report annually on the race/ethnicity and gender of their workforce by ten occupational groups.
In 2011 African Americans held less than 4% of the jobs in the largest construction firms in metro Milwaukee.
Only 85 African Americans were employed as skilled craftsmen (compared to 2,771 whites), only 35
African Americans were working as apprentices and skilled operatives (compared to 441 whites), and only
73 African Americans were employed as laborers (compared to 431 whites).
Latinos also showed low employment
levels in the largest construction firms of the Milwaukee area, holding only 4% of the jobs. The companies reported 135 Latinos employed
as skilled craftsmen, only 28 as apprentices and semi-skilled operatives, and only 65 as laborers.
Ground: 2010 Report Card on Apprentices in the Construction Trade (2010)
This collaborative report with the NAACP Milwaukee Branch analyzes state records on 1,740 apprentices
working for 443 contractors (341 union and 102 non-union) in the Milwaukee area as of January 2010.
The data show African Americans hardest hit by the recession's impact on the construction industry
as well as by long-standing failures to effectively recruit and retain African Americans in the trades.
Too often, African Americans suffered higher job losses and were placed on lay-off in disproportionate numbers.
Of the 341 union contractors with apprentices, 94% employed white apprentices but only 6% employed
African American apprentices. In non-union firms, African Americans held only 6% of apprenticeships.
Cancellation rates for African American apprentices were more than double the rates for white apprentices,
and African Americans had a higher rate of unassigned apprentices than any other racial/ethnic group.
The NAACP's Industry and Labor Committee has been working with the state Department of Workforce Development
and local trade unions to improve hiring and retention of African Americans in skilled construction work.
Drilldown on African American Male Unemployment and Workforce Needs (2009)
This report uses the American Community Survey PUMs data for 2008 to describe the employed and unemployed
African American male population in Milwaukee County by age, level of education and means of transportation
to work. In 2008 unemployment was lowest among men of prime working age (where 12.4% of men ages 25 thru 54
were unemployed, as were 13.4% of men ages 55 thru 64) and highest for teens and young adults (teens including
high school students showed an unemployment rate of 39.5%, and young adults ages 20 thru 24 had an unemployment
rate of 37.1%). Most of African American males not in the labor force were students (28%), receiving SSI or social security (24%), institutionalized (10%), on retirement income other than social security (9%), or disabled/not on SSI (7%). See
2-page drilldown summary.
Health Occupation Drilldowns for Milwaukee County (2009)
Racial breakdowns are analyzed for Milwaukee County residents credentialed in 7 health care occupations, using
records from the Wisconsin Department of Regulation & Licensing.
Among county residents credentialed from 2000-2008, minorities made up 57% of licensed practical nurses, 23% of registered nurses, 16% of dental hygienists, 16% of physical therapist assistants, 11% of physical therapists, and 8% of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. See
2-page drilldown summary.
Report Cards on African American and Minority Participation in
Construction Trade Apprenticeships in the Milwaukee Area: A Two-Year
Progress Report by
519 construction firms and
18 construction trades.
Updated report cards, prepared collaboratively with the
NAACP Milwaukee Branch,
examined progress in hiring of minority and female apprentices
by Milwaukee area construction trade companies.
The number of African American apprentices in the construction trades increased 80% (rising from 122 to 219) in the
two years since the NAACP issued
calling for increased hiring of minorities in the
85 companies increased
their hires of
African American apprentices.
As of 2007, women still made up only 3.5% of the union apprentices (62 of 1,776) and 2% of the non-union apprentices (5 of 250), with the "largest" numbers employed as electricians (N=14) and operating engineers (N=13).
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development now posts
statistics on the race/ethnicity and gender of apprentices in
each of the Milwaukee area construction trades.
Who Gets Construction Jobs and Where? Employment of African Americans,
Hispanics and Total Minorities in the Construction Trades in the Milwaukee
Worksite analysis and maps using Census 2000 place-of-work data show
where white, African American and Latino workers are employed, allowing a
first-time examination of census place-of-work data from the perspective
of central city neighborhoods and racial/ethnic groups.
How to Use ETI Drill Downs to Map Employment Integration and to Assess
Workforce Diversity at Government Jobsites [in PDF] (May 2005).
This report uses place-of-work data from the 2000 U.S. Census, released in
2004 and 2005 and designed for transportation planners, to assess and
compare employment patterns by race/ethnicity at 1,554 federal, state and
local government jobsites in the Milwaukee metro area. The report offers
a first-time analysis of the presence of minorities at specific government
worksites and assesses the extent to which larger government sites meet
availability standards typically used by the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
(OFCCP) for the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and affirmative
action requirements placed on federal contractors.
The report offers examples of the following:
- Maps of jobsites for African Americans and Hispanics, compared
whites (for the federal, state and local governments).
- Numbers of government jobsites meeting availability standards for
employment of minorities.
- Reports on the diversity record of the largest 25 government worksites
in the metro area.
- Methodology for targeting opportunities for increased employment of
minorities and affirmative action efforts by government and
Employer Diversity Drill Downs for All Census Tracts in the U.S.
This website allows users to identify the race/Hispanic origin of the
workforce employed in each U.S. census tract by industry, occupation, and
type of employer based on the 2000 Census (the last decennial census using the long-form
questionnaire for 1 out of 7 households). The data offers a first-time examination of the Census
Transportation Planning Package (CTPP2000) place-of-work data from the
perspective of central city neighborhoods and minority populations seeking
greater business and employment opportunities. Tables (which can be
requested for individual or groups of census tracts) also show the
workers employed in each neighborhood by race/ethnicity and by age, the
poverty status of workers by means of transportation to work. Populations
analyzed include African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and whites.
Assumptions and Limitations of the Census Bureau Methodology Ranking Racial and Ethnic
Residential Segregation in Cities and Metro Areas (August 2004).
Lois Quinn's monograph responds to a request from the U.S. Census Bureau to serve on a five-member peer
review panel examining a detailed study by the Bureau ranking major metro
by their level of racial and ethnic housing segregation. Quinn's paper raises concerns about
definitions of race used for the study, the "white reference"
perspectives imbedded in the indexes selected, the choice of census tracts
(rather than blocks), and the reliance on
metropolitan statistical area boundaries as proxies for housing markets.
The Census study reported on segregation of various racial/ethnic groups
but not on "white segregation." Quinn criticized the indices used for
their racial bias against majority non-white neighborhoods, noting the
origins of the indices in the 1960s and based on concerns of white
academics with "tipping," the notion that urban whites will move out of a
neighborhood once the African American population reaches a critical mass.
Consequently, the academics developed rankings which valued "dispersal" of
the minority (i.e., non-white) populations to minimize their effect on any
single white neighborhood. Geographer Harold Rose, a noted African American author,
observed that the terminology used by these scholars to describe racial
changes in neighborhoods [e.g., invasion, succession], while derived from
descriptions of plant ecology, "has come to represent the white residents'
perception of events in the struggle for residential space, and in all
likelihood the white writer's perceptions as well." (cited from Harold M.
Rose, The Black Ghetto: A Spatial Behavioral Perspective, New York,
1971, p. 8)
Quinn called for measures of integration that are multi-racial (not just
black-white, Hispanic-white, Asian-white, etc.) and which recognize both
minority-majority and majority-minority neighborhoods as integrated.
The Census Bureau study on Racial and Ethnic Segregation in the United
States: 1980-2000 is available on the Census
format or in
The panelists' perspectives on the Census Bureau methodology are posted on
the Census Bureau
Housing Patterns website.
In her nuanced 2004 book on The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining the American Dream, Sheryll Cashin still embraces the dissimilarity index as the primary measure of "integration," leading her to such puzzling observations as, "Communities with few blacks integrate better than those with many blacks. Of the nation's five most integrated urban areas, none is more than 3 percent black."
(p. 90) Far more promising are her observations about the diverse urban landscape, writing: "Predominately minority neighborhoods, in particular, offer rich, interesting opportunities for class mixing, even of the one-race kind. They also offer a context for learning that will be sorely needed in the majority-minority America of the future. Whites who choose such environments will have the opportunity to test and stretch their capacity for being among, and outnumbered by, people of other races and, hence, for adjusting to and participating in our nation's emerging demographic reality. When millions of whites learn that the sky does not fall when they or their children are outnumbered racially, we will have finally begun to render the metaphor of America's melting pot a reality." (pp. 327-328)
A 2007 study on
Stable Integrated Communities in Cincinnati by Charles F. Casey-Leininger and Erinn L. Green defined
integrated neighborhoods using both the dissimilarity index (requiring a score of 65 or less) and a
racial percentage range (requiring an African American population between 10% and 60%). Casey-Leininger
explained in part: "Although we sought to solve some of the problem of how to define integration,
we recognize that our criteria for racial integration has limitations. Not the least of these
is that it excludes neighborhoods like Kennedy Heights that have a larger percentage of
blacks than our upper limit of 60%, but that are in fact stably racially integrated at the block level.
Moreover, it privileges as integrated those neighborhoods between about 40% and 90% white,
but not neighborhoods between 60% and 90% black. However, the definition we chose has
some merit in that it is a rough representation of the range of black/white ratios that many
whites will tolerate in racially mixed neighborhoods.... [emphasis added]" (p. 13)
A subsequent 2010 update on
Stable Integrated Communities
used an African American population between 10% and 80% as the standard for measuring integration.
A 2012 report on
America's Racially Diverse Suburbs: Opportunities and Challenges
by Myron Orfield and Thomas Luce of the University of Minnesota Law School Institute on Metropolitan
Opportunity defines municipalities (and census tracts) as "integrated" or "racially diverse" if their
non-white population is between 20 and 60 percent. The authors refer to communities as
"predominately white" if they are over 80% white, but "predominately non-white" if they are over 60% non-white.
No explanation is given for the discrepancy in the standards used -- apparently any place
less than 40% white in America is considered non-diverse by the standards imposed.
The Quinn-Pawasarat analysis of African American-white integration considered residential blocks black-white integrated if they were at least 20% white and at least 20% African American, regardless of which population was in the majority.
Racial Integration in Urban America: A Block Level Analysis of African American
and White Housing Patterns, available in
HTML format or
This study raises questions about the white-black dissimilarity index historically used to rank
metropolitan areas and its assumptions about the lack of integration occurring in many cities with
large African American populations. The study includes preliminary development of alternative
measures of integration -- which view white and other racial/ethnic populations as equal partners
in the integrating process -- as a first step toward articulating measures that might assist cities
in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of their population mixes. In the City of Milwaukee,
for example, one-fifth (21.6 percent) of all residents live on blocks that are black-white racially
mixed -- that is, where African Americans make up at least 20 percent of the population and
where whites make up at least 20 percent of the population as well. Outside of the City of
Milwaukee, less than 1 percent of residents in the metro area lived on black-white integrated
Maps of the African American and White Populations in the 100 Largest
For the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S., the Employment and Training Institute offers 400
maps showing the integrated, predominantly African American, and predominantly white
neighborhoods, based on 2000 Census data.
Block groups with at least 20% white
and 20% African American populations
Block groups with more than 80%
African American populations
Block groups with more than 80%
white populations, Census 2000
Planning Document for Employers: Changing Demographics of the Milwaukee Metro Labor
Force, available in
PDF format (August 2003).
The future of the Milwaukee metro labor force lies in large part with its minority populations.
Metro Milwaukee has the youngest African American population among the 100 largest metro
areas in the U.S. Its Asian population is 4th youngest and its Latino population is 9th youngest.
By contrast, the white population is older than in most metro areas, and many white baby
boomers are reaching retirement age. Major challenges
will be to replace retiring workers with younger trained workers from
Milwaukee and to attract professionals to the metro area from other
parts of the U.S. Successfully educating African American and
Latino youth is imperative for the health of the metro economy.
Marketing Stereotypes: A Milwaukee Economic Development Challenge (June 2001)
An examination of products promoted by national marketing firms indicated that many firms
used racial and class-based stereotypes to describe urban neighborhoods.
For example, international firms'
websites claimed that African Americans in Milwaukee "splurge on fast food and spend leisure
time going to bars and dancing," that Milwaukee Hispanics "splurge on videos, long-distance
phone calls, cable TV, and theme parks and casino visits," while
white residents were described
as "interested in civic activities, volunteer work, contributions and travel." This ETI report
compares the spending per square mile by central city residents in racially mixed and non-white
neighborhoods with spending in suburban areas to show the concentrated buying power of central
As background, this 2001 report examined the methodologies firms use to develop marketing information on Milwaukee neighborhoods, traced the history of marketing clustering systems, and explored the damage marketing stereotypes pose for Milwaukee and other cities. A paper for The Brookings Institution on
Exposing Urban Legends: The Real Purchasing Poor of Central city Neighborhoods (2001) provides a template for other cities on how to address marketing stereotypes and identify economic assets of urban communities.
John T. Metzger has a useful working paper on
Clustered Spaces: Racial Profiling in Real Estate Investment, which offers a detailed history of the evolution of the firms specializing in clustering data and explores the racial aspects of several ranking systems.
In 2001, after Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist criticized Claritas and CACI for using misleading
information that discouraged business expansion in innercity neighborhoods, the president
and CEO of Claritas reported to the press that his marketing company would remove references
to gambling or use of tobacco and alcohol in characterizing neighborhoods. The new stereotypes
subsequently posted on the Internet, however, described central city Milwaukee African Americans
as "inner city strugglers" who "watch a lot of television and listen to a lot of radio." A
major concern is that marketing firms will remove overtly racist descriptions and labels from
their cluster reports while continuing to downgrade neighborhoods because they
are predominately minority.
For another example of anti-urban marketing stereotypes, see the Congress for the New Urbanism
from Detroit Might "Steal" Your Car in Milwaukee, following up on Michael Horne's examination of use of data
demographics to "estimate" auto thefts in an unknown "Triangle Neighborhood" of Milwaukee.
Profiles for City of Milwaukee and Metro Area Suburban ZIP Codes
Using a state-of-the-art methodology, the Employment and Training Institute prepared purchasing
power comparisons for central city neighborhoods denigrated by anti-urban, anti-racial
stereotypes. The reports, prepared for the City of Milwaukee, show the purchasing power
strength of dense urban neighborhoods for common retail items.
The Institute now makes consumer expenditure data available (without stereotypes) for all ZIP
codes and census tracts in the U.S. to assist underserved neighborhoods and minority businesses
in identifying spending power of urban markets. Customized printouts may be secured from the
ETI Urban Purchasing Power/Workforce Density Page.
of Employment and Economic Well-Being of Families in Central City Milwaukee
Employment and Training Institute neighborhood indicators reports, prepared since 1998, identify
issues of special concerns to African American and Latino populations. The number of central
city residents with driver's license suspensions for failure to pay fines and civil forfeitures
continued to show all-time increases, with 4 times as many central city residents losing their
licenses over fines (51,135 in a single year) than for traffic violations, driving while intoxicated, and
drug convictions combined. State and municipal policies continue to draw African American
males into the court system for this "driving while poor" offense.
The neighborhood indicators
also showed very low claim rates for the Earned Income Tax Credit (41
percent for income-eligible married tax filers) for families
on Milwaukee's near southside, where many Hispanics reside. Policy recommendations are
provided for these and other issues.
Relationships between School Desegregation and
Government Housing Programs: A Milwaukee Case Study, prepared for the
National Institute of Education by Lois M. Quinn, Michael G. Barndt, and Diane S. Pollard (December 1980).
School desegregation was initiated in Milwaukee in the 1976-77 school year through
a court-ordered city desegregation program and a state-financed city-suburban pupil
transfer program (known as "Chapter 220"). This pilot study explored three dimensions of the
complex interrelationships between these school desegregation programs and housing
patterns in Milwaukee County. First, a field study explored the attitudes of
minority families participating in the innovative city-suburban school desegregation
program. The survey found high satisfaction with the educational program and
relatively strong interest in possible housing moves to suburban areas where
children were busing to school. Secondly, the pupil movement under the city
and metropolitan desegregation plans was assessed for its impact on segregated
residential housing patterns in the community. The desegregation plan
implemented by the Milwaukee Public Schools appeared to have negative
impacts on racially changing neighborhoods. The highest percentages of students
were leaving schools in residentially integrated areas (10-29% black), and
schools in transitional areas (30-69% black) were allowed to "tip" to
The third aspect of the study analyzed the two largest federal rental housing
programs operating in the county for their impact on racial integration of schools
and housing. The Section 8 rent assistance program, operated by three governmental
units in Milwaukee County, appeared to reinforce the segregated housing patterns
of the community and failed to complement school desegregation efforts.
Scattered site and traditional public housing provided by the City of Milwaukee also
impacted negatively on the racial make-up of neighborhood schools in the city. The
study suggests the need for more coordinated efforts by school and housing officials
if successful, long-range integration is to occur.
Racially Restrictive Covenants: The Making of All-White Suburbs in Milwaukee County
," Metropolitan Integration Research Center (Milwaukee 1979).
A study by the non-profit Metropolitan Integration Research Center in 1979 found racially
restrictive covenants operating in at least sixteen of the eighteen
Milwaukee County suburbs. Subdivisions established in 1927, for
example, in Cudahy, Shorewood, West Milwaukee, Whitefish Bay and Wauwatosa
excluded all non-Caucasian families. In the 1930's subdivisions
created in Bayside, Fox Point, Glendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, St.
Francis and West Allis were still using covenants to exclude African Americans. As
late as 1958, ten years after the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed judicial
enforcement of these covenants, race restrictions were recorded for a
new subdivision in Greendale. A case study of Wauwatosa, an attractive
middle class suburb less than 5 miles from the heart of Milwaukee's
African American community, revealed
that 51 subdivisions (covering 1/3 of all residential land in the
community) were developed with restrictive covenants which prevented
non-Caucasians from purchasing or renting homes in their neighborhoods.”
The research reports and background papers of the Metropolitan Integration Research Center
(1977-1984) are now archived in the
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Golda Meir Library archives and
open for public use.
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