Ray Allen

The Urban League of Greater Madison announced today that it has hired former Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Ray Allen to lead its Workforce Development Services Division.

Allen was appointed by Governor Scott Walker in 2016 to serve as the Secretary of DWD. He had previously served as the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutes (DFI) for over 18 years, including four as Deputy Secretary and then as Secretary. Allen has extensive experience in state government, also serving as an appointee in the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Employment Relations, Director of the State Office of Employee Development and Training, and as Executive Director of the Technology for Education Achievement Board.

Allen has been active in the Madison area community, serving on many community boards and commissions, and was elected to three terms on the Madison School Board. The Milwaukee native earned his bachelor’s or arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his master’s of science degree in management from Cardinal Stritch University. He is an entrepreneur, business owners, and former owner and publisher of the Madison Times Weekly Newspaper.

“I am honored to have this unique opportunity to contribute to the Urban League’s exceptional efforts in workforce development,” Allen said in a statement.

The Urban League operates a robust array of demand-driven recruitment, training, placement, and coaching services for job seekers in the areas of construction, healthcare, biotechnology, IT, customer service, education, insurance, and more. The League also offers a suite of services for employers including pre-screened candidate referrals, customized training programs, job fairs and seminars, and diversity and inclusion services. The League raised its profile significantly last year with a commitment to place 1,500 job seekers by 2020, and the completion of a $2 million, 50th anniversary fundraising campaign to support this initiative.

“The Urban League made an ambitious commitment to 1,500 job placements by 2020, and we have a number of additional new projects to drive our economic inclusion agenda, and I can’t think of a more knowledgeable, connected, committed member of our community to lead this work for us going forward,” said ULGM CEO Ruben Anthony in a statement.

Allen will begin his new role immediately.