Madison: A development project on Allied Drive should produce more than just affordable apartments. Community leaders are hoping the $14 million project will create some jobs as well.
In just a couple months the old Supersaver grocery store on Verona Road will be torn down to make way for a 104 unit apartment complex.
"It will be the highest quality housing in this neighborhood," says developer Gary Gorman.
But before then the store will host a job fair aimed at the residents of the Allied Drive neighborhood.
"What I keep hearing over and over again is that people want jobs. They don't want a hand out they want a hand up," says Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.
The job fair is just one part of a memorandum of understanding between Gorman and the Allied Drive Neighborhood Association.
Gorman will also provide computers, training and internet access. But the biggest commitment is to try and hire 30% of all workers from the area. That's 5% more than his Wheda contract requires.
"We negotiated that he go over and above that to hire from the community," says Association President Alice Howard.
Gorman says the job fair is a natural extension of that goal. A neighborhood survey found half the Allied Drive residents were looking for full time jobs, and 10 to 15 of his sub–contractors will be at the job fair. "People that are unemployed looking for jobs and employers that have a lot of work but don't necessarily go in to a neighborhood like Allied Drive to recruit. So the purpose of the job fair is to bring those two together."
Gorman says he expects the project to be finished by next summer.