John Jacobs represents the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO on the Social Development Commission’s Board of Commissioners. Jacobs is an Assistant Business Manager and works for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – IBEW Local 494. The union serves local electrical professionals.
When Jacobs joined SDC’s Board of Commissioners as the labor representative, the timing was perfect.
“I sit on our (Local 494) apprenticeship committee and there was discussion about affirmative action goals,” says Jacobs. “The goals were falling short. That’s when I realized my SDC appointment was a huge opportunity. The timing couldn’t be any better as we worked to create a diverse pool of candidates for local employers.”
As a commissioner, Jacobs is also able to fulfill a personal mission that helps more high school graduates build a sustainable career.
“When I was in high school, all I heard about was the Armed Forces and college. I never heard about the crafts, the trades. So for me, it’s exciting to work with another organization and get that word out.
With a mission of providing Milwaukee residents with resources to move beyond poverty, employment is a critical area of focus. The collaboration between SDC and Jacobs increases influence, outreach and impact for both the unions, union employers, and SDC.
“I get into places that help me spread the good word about jobs,” Jacobs says.
“One of my favorite things to do is to organize. It’s exciting to spread the good word in areas I personally haven’t been to before. ”
As Jacobs likes to say, you don’t know what you don’t know.
“Pathway — that one word is key,” Jacobs added. “Here I am with this information about how to become an electrician or learn other crafts. I have connections. I’m here to guide people on that pathway. If we can get that message out there, that’s powerful.”
Learn more about the Social Development Commission and how you can make a difference in your community as a SDC commissioner. Visit our Elections page.