The Milwaukee area’s largest health care systems and universities are committing to increase their hiring and spending in the city’s lowest-income zip codes under a new collaborative.

The Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative has launched with founding organizations Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin, Froedtert Health, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is organized by the nonprofit JobsWork MKE.

The organizations announced this week their intention to focus on hiring residents and purchasing from businesses in the 53204, 53205, 53206, 53208, 53210, 53212, 53216 and 53233 zip codes – an area that has a combined population is 206,000, with 33% living in poverty.

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