By Karen Stokes
Mayor Tom Barrett has recently announced his appointment of the new president and CEO of Employ Milwaukee, Chytania Brown.
Brown, who has 20 years of experience working for the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), was formerly employed at Employ Milwaukee and is presently administrator for the Division of Employment & Training at the DWD in Madison. She will be the first woman to run the agency.
According to Barret, she will be beginning her new role on March 16.
“This is a critical agency for this city and the businesses of this city,” said Barrett. “We have a lot of people who need jobs and businesses that are frustrated when they can’t find workers.”
He added that transportation issues and summer employment issues have always been big in Milwaukee and it’s important to have a strong leader at Employ to help deal with them.
Brown replaces interim CEO Mark Kessenich. He is CEO and president of Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/Building Trades Group and Skilled Trades Employment Program (WRTP/BIG STEP). Kessenich replaced Willie Wade after his resignation.
“I just want to continue to expand on our partnerships and continue to grow the pipeline, grow our employer relationships and just really have Employ be a place for everyone and what I mean by that is meeting people where they’re at,” Brown said.
Brown continued, “So regardless of who you are, where you come from or what your story is, if you’re coming to us for employment, Employ is a place where we can help you continue to stay on the path wherever it is that you’re attempting to go. We need to be more mobile and get out in the community and let people know who we are, what we do and what we have to offer.”
Barrett said that he has talked to people in the community who are desperate for jobs and employers who are desperate for workers and compared them to two ships that pass in the night.
“Employ is the agency best suited to bring them together. It’s a very practical, pragmatic approach to a serious problem,” Barrett said.
“It’s a big job but it’s a necessary job,” Brown said. “It’s so needed here in the city of Milwaukee and I’m just excited to be back in Milwaukee and being able to be part of all that is happening and continue to help it grow even further.”