By Milwaukee Courier Staff
The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee; a nonprofit, charitable organization that provides programming for the community at 70 companies, in more than 60 schools, and at four county parks; announced its new strategic plan and operating model. The Milwaukee Y’s new vision is to have a greater, deeper impact and reach in the community through programming and services. By 2021, the Milwaukee Y plans to double the number of people it positively impacts.
The Milwaukee Y has been stable for the last four years, and during this time developed a strategic plan and built processes and infrastructure. Its strategic planning process included research, interviews and work sessions. The leadership team identified key constituents to conduct a community needs assessment in order to understand how the Milwaukee Y can better serve the community’s needs. Over the course of several months, Milwaukee Y staff interviewed 475 diverse community stakeholders, including YMCA members, program members, staff, CEOs, non-profits, hospitals, businesses, donors, partners, elected officials, school district leaders and representatives from public and private sectors through electronic surveys, branch round tables, and one-on-one interviews. The results of this research led Milwaukee Y leadership to focus on strengthening the community through three focus areas: youth development (children and teens, character development), healthy living and social responsibility.
“Our strategic plan focuses on our neighbors and their needs,” said Carrie Wall, president and chief executive officer. “The Milwaukee YMCA is committed to tackling issues such as the achievement gap, nurturing the academic potential of young minds, preventing childhood drowning, teaching safe and healthy habits for a lifetime and more.”
For more than 30 years, Wall has advanced the mission of the Y. She returned to the Milwaukee Y on July 1 of last year after serving as president and chief executive officer of the for eight years. Before that, Wall worked for four years as the vice president of operations for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, and prior to that Wall worked at the Milwaukee Y for 20 years in various leadership positions.
The Milwaukee Y will no longer be defined by its facilities, which has previously limited how community members can gain access to its programs. The Milwaukee Y is evolving and transforming, just the like the communities it serves. Today, the Milwaukee Y is serving the whole family — from babies to great grandparents, and to do so, it’s collaborating like never before in areas such as housing, education and healthcare, to make sure it’s meeting the needs of the community.
The Milwaukee Y is committed to equality and inclusion by ensuring all community members have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. It is not just looking to be diverse, but inclusive and focused on equity. To do that, it looked at its lead volunteers and staff to assure it is fully engaged in the needs of Milwaukee. It set goals to abide by its policies, practices, and offer programming that is attuned to the needs of the community, and they are focused on partnering with other companies and organizations who have prioritized diversity and inclusion. The Milwaukee Y partnered with Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin to help form a diversity and inclusion taskforce.
“Lasting personal and social change happens in the places where our members live, work and play,” said Wall. “That’s why in addition to our center-based programming, we are committed to being vocal advocates for healthy families and partnering with others to improve the greater good in Milwaukee beyond our four walls.”
This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Courier.