MILWAUKEE – Esperanza
Unida, Inc. is Manny Perez Advisor and General Manager of EU pleased to announce that it has hired former Secretary of Workforce Development and business owner, Manny Perez, as its Advisor and General Manager effective March 4, 2013.
Robert Miranda, Executive Director of Esperanza Unida states that, “Manny’s objectives include re-structuring the organization in order to increase its effectiveness in the non-profit arena and service delivery to our community. In addition, Perez will coordinate the ground work to succeed me as the Director of Esperanza Unida.”
As Advisor and General Manager, Perez will also help to reform and implement governance and compliance frameworks, reactivate the agency’s training programs and develop new ones aligned to the needs of the community and business sector.
“I cannot think of someone more qualified than Manny to achieve these goals,” said Miranda.
“Given the accomplishments he achieved in a short period of time as Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and as a business owner, the board of directors hired Manny to establish the same guidelines and approach he took at DWD, where he successfully managed the organization in an ethical manner,” said Miranda.
In November of 2012, after his contract with a construction company ended, conversations started with Esperanza Unida to hire Manny. “I felt compelled to help Esperanza Unida on ad honorem basis given the positive experience I had with the organization back in 2008 when, as CEO of JNA Staffing, I needed many Forklift Operators. Esperanza Unida trained them using short term technical training and JNA Staffing placed them either as Direct Hires or as Temporary to Permanent employees in the private sector,” said Perez.
“Using the training program and other similar short-term technical training programs we developed with other organizations,” Perez states, “about 300 workers ended up in temporary and permanent positions…during the Great Recession.”
“I am happy to join the organization on a permanent basis and we are already achieving results ” said Perez.
In January 27, 2013 the Internal Revenue Service notified Esperanza Unida that it had reinstated the agency’s Non-Profit (501 c3) status.
Furthermore, Governance and Compliance Frameworks similar to the ones Perez advanced at DWD in 2011 are being implemented. This includes ongoing auditing, program compliance, and strict financial controls. Perez states that he will ensure that Esperanza Unida meets and exceeds the standards of Governance and Compliance for Public Service Enterprises.
Additionally, Perez states, “the short term technical and literacy training programs are being reactivated. Mechanics training via donated car repair and re-sale of cars to workers needing transportation is being restarted, the worker transportation program has been optimized and is ready for expansion, the welding training program as part of industrial manufacturing is ready to take students and to expand as is the Safety and Forklift Training Programs.”
“Manny fundamentally believes in an approach to workforce and economic development based on Human Capital and Community Development. This was the basic approach he advanced at the Department of Workforce Development,” said Miranda.
“What Perez accomplished with the support of all Workforce Development Boards, Community Based Organizations and the business community was to create a synergy that moved a jointly executed, non-partisan working relationship with all stakeholders. Perez and the Wisconsin workforce development system working under the Governor’s direct leadership placed a total of 24,000 workers in private sector jobs in 5 months from January to May 2011. An astonishing achievement,” said Miranda.
“I am excited to see that a synergistic and collaborative approach is supported by Governor Scott Walker and current DWD Secretary Reggie Newson,” states Perez.
“I am passionate and fully confident that the approach I am advancing is effective and moreover, sustainable as it motivates individuals to continue improving their skills for lifelong sustainability,” said Perez.
When asked what the vision for Esperanza Unida, Perez said, “my vision for Esperanza Unida is consistent with its history and with the work that Roberto has accomplished for many years as a leader in this community. Simply put: empower individuals to become courageous, adventurous and self sufficient.”
“We thank all the internal staff, partner organizations, private suppliers, and the community at large for the work they have done supporting Esperanza Unida,” – Perez further states.
Perez says this will be achieved through state of the art short-term technical training and supportive services such as literacy, basic math skills, transportation services and non-competing initiatives with other organizations.
Short-term training will be aligned to private sector needs using innovative and proven training techniques with a clear focus on achieving employment outcomes in mind and Human Capital and Community Development. Also, Perez plans to work closely with the technical school system to ensure workers can leverage their short term training as part of longer term programs in the technical school system to further support lifelong learning and long term skill development for employment of the individual. “Esperanza Unida has the perfect infrastructure to deliver targeted short term technical training to empower individuals to become immediately employed and continue learning in longer term programs in our excellent technical school system,” Perez states.
Further, Perez plans to support business entrepreneurship via affordable office rental rates at the Esperanza Unida International Building located at 611 West National Ave. and worker training aligned to facilities management and building operations.
Finally, it must be noted that Esperanza Unida will focus on short-term training and capacity building without competing for employment services with other non-profit organizations that do employment services; i.e. Esperanza Unida will effectively perform short-term technical training for individuals that other organizations place in the private sector…this maximizes the employment outcomes, maximizes the benefit derived from the use of taxpayer or funding dollars, as well as intra agency and business sector cooperation without duplicating employment services activities, an approach that Perez strongly supported as Secretary of the WI Department of Workforce Development.