DreamUp narrows down idea proposals that could benefit Dane County families

Downtown Madison, WI Image By: Will Chizek and Will Chizek

Eleven proposals to boost Dane County’s middle class have been selected as part of the Alliance for the American Dream Initiative: DreamUp Wisconsin.

Increasing the net income of 10,000 Dane County families by 10 percent by 2020 is one of the main goals of the initiative. After receiving over 40 idea submissions by teams of community and university partners, DreamUp has narrowed down to 11 teams that will move on to the next round of development, potentially benefiting families in Dane County.

“Through this first phase of DreamUp Wisconsin, we engaged the community in identifying ways to improve families’ economic well-being, as well as ways to expand and strengthen the middle class in our county,” said Institute for Research on Poverty Director Lawrence Berger.

According to the Institute for Research on Poverty, the proposals include a 10-step financial literacy and holistic financial well-being program, a transportation system linking workers with employers outside Madison and a plan to provide wrap-around services and more meaningful connections with local employers to enrolled students as well as those who had to stop attending Madison College for financial reasons, among others.

One idea proposed by UW-Madison, one of four schools involved in the Alliance for the American Dream Initiative, will ultimately be supported by the nation-wide initiative.

The 11 teams whose proposals were selected by DreamUp will receive $10,000 to expand on and solidify their proposals before Dec. 10, when three finalists will be chosen to advance further in the competition. 

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