MILWAUKEE — It’s not often that you see members of the Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Admirals all in one place, but it happened recently in Milwaukee, and an initiative started by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was the reason why.
Wisconsin’s professional sports teams are teaming up, and the head coach is Mayor Barrett.
“What we want to do this summer is help hundreds, thousands of kids in our community have a first job,” Mayor Barrett said.
It’s a new collaborative partnership called the Earn and Learn All-Star Team.
“The Packers, the Brewers, the Bucks and the Admirals have been Major League All-Stars with helping us get the word out on how important it is for us to help young people in this community have a first job,” Mayor Barrett said.
Each team is making a significant contribution to the program that helps young people in Milwaukee snag that first job.
“This is really a problem in our society. It’s getting harder and harder for young kids to get jobs. The mayor and I were talking that very few of our players now come into the NFL ever having another job or had a job,” Mark Murphy. Packers president and CEO said.
The teams went beyond just making a contribution. Leaders from each organization also offered up some valuable advice.
“I had quite a job. I worked at Six Flags in the costume department and if you want to know a tough job, you dress 2,500 people a day. You sew outfits a day and you make everybody feel good about wearing purple and blue like, the entire day,” Peter Feigin, Bucks president said.
“I got a job selling sodas at Rice Stadium where the Houston Oilers and the Rice University Owls played. I slopped a lot of sodas and I learned a lot and it was a great experience,” Murphy said.
“My first job was a garbage man for the Village of Bayside. It was a summer job when I was 16. I got up at 5:30, got my way to the village and we picked up garbage around the neighborhood from all the homes,” Rick Schlessinger, Brewers COO said.
While they weren’t necessarily very glamorous jobs, it was a learning experience for these future executives.
“Taught me that you had to be responsible and reliable. If I didn’t show up to work one day, the rest of the guys on the crew would have a lot more work to do. Taught me to be reliable, responsible and taking pride in what you do,” Schlessinger said.
“I learned more on that job when I was 16 and 17 years old then I ever learned before. I had to deal with people, how to be responsible, how to be on time,” Feigin said.
These team leaders and Mayor Barrett believe the lessons learned through a first job create both hope and opportunity for the young people in Milwaukee.
“It’s not just the job. It’s not just the paycheck. It’s education. It’s learning the skills that young people are going to need for their entire lives,” Schlessinger said.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Earn and Learn program.