MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The City of Milwaukee is looking to hire a fresh crop of employees — particularly those who might have trouble landing a job elsewhere. However, you’ll need to meet some very specific criteria to qualify.

“I believe very strongly that there’s a positive momentum that comes with work.” – Tom BarrettA small crowd of curious job seeks listened politely on Wednesday, February 11th as city officials explained their push to hire more than a hundred transitional workers. Those jobs only last six months and pay at least $10.10 an hour. But they’re aimed at those who have been down-and-out of late.

“We’re looking at people who have had trouble staying in the workforce because I believe very strongly that there’s a positive momentum that comes with work that once you get back in the workforce then you want to continue working you like that paycheck,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Not just anyone can apply. Individuals interested in applying for the Compete Milwaukee transitional jobs MUST meet the following requirements:

  • Must reside in this geographical area at the time of enrollment: Sherman Boulevard on the West, Silver Spring Drive on the North, Hwy I-43 on the East, and Mitchell Street on the South.
  • Must be 18—64 years old at the time of enrollment.
  • If 24 years of age or older, MUST be the biological, adoptive or primary relative caregiver of a child under the age of 18.
  • Individual must have one of the following: a child support order, a child welfare reunification plan or be an ex-offender.
  • Must have been unemployed for the last four (4) consecutive calendar weeks prior to enrollment.
  • Cannot be receiving W2 benefits and not eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance Compensation.
  • Have an annual household income that is less than 150% of the federal poverty guideline for the household size.

NOTE: Individuals who participated in the Transform Milwaukee Jobs Program are not eligible to participate in Compete Milwaukee.

“One of the number one issues we have is the employment or the unemployment of black and brown males in our community,” said Milwaukee Alderman Willie Wade. “So in order for them to get job opportunities, we need more programs like this.”

The Transitional Jobs Program has been around for a couple of years — and will employ people in a variety of city positions. In the past, that has included things like filling potholes. The goal it to get work history on participants’ resumes so they can land longer term jobs. Officials hope the investment pays off in other ways too.

“When people have their own resources, it’s less likely that they’ll be trying to take resources from other people. So it’s a direct link between unemployment and crime in this city, in cities all around the United States,” said Wade.

For more information, job seekers can call UMOS at 414-389-6000 and visit