Talent Dividend

A Letter from the President: June 2016

Taylor, JuliaAs we enter another beautiful Milwaukee summer, we’d like to share some updates on our key initiatives with you. We’re keeping busy at the GMC offices!

Scale Up Milwaukee

Scale Up Milwaukee recently launched a new membership program model; the very first quarterly members meeting took place at the end of June at the University Club with more than 70 individuals from about 50 organizations. Scale Up Milwaukee membership is the perfect way for everyone to directly engage with Milwaukee’s growth-oriented programs, network and culture. We encourage everyone to join and be a part of this exciting movement. For more information, reach out to Elmer Moore or check out the webpage here.

Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE)

MiKE is in the process of planning Walk the Talk 2016, a conference exploring the intersection of innovation and creativity. The conference is scheduled for Thursday, October 13th, and will be hosted in the Near West Side neighborhood. Leading up to the conference, MiKE will host a summer speaking series. The second speaker is in just a few short weeks on July 20th – check out more information and register here.

The Commons completed its spring 2016 session with another 75 students completing the program. The Commons has now served more than 285 students, and after completing the program, 90% of students feel more connected to our professional community and 81% are more likely to look for job opportunities in Wisconsin.

MKE Fellows

Forty-five high-achieving black male college students have been placed in paid summer internships at top companies through the MKE Fellows. Throughout the summer, we’re hosting professional development sessions and partnering with local companies for lunch and learns. Thank you to all the area companies participating!

Teachtown MKE

The GMC launched this important project in 2013 and since then has welcomed nearly 2,500 educators to our urban schools, helped relocate nearly 500 of them to this region and continues to serve hundreds each month in social and professional development activities. In fact, educators that participate in Teachtown MKE activities are 15% more likely to be retained in the classroom. The Teachtown MKE Key to the City, a card given to each educator, includes free admission and promotions to many of Milwaukee’s cultural institutions.

MPS and Bradley Tech

The Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council teamed up with Milwaukee Public Schools’ Bradley Tech High School recently to get more students interested in construction jobs and enter apprenticeships. Bradley Tech hosted its first Life Mentor Day, organized by local professional mentors and Bradley Tech students to celebrate five months of mentorship and working hands-on with welding, plumbing, tile-setting, heating, brick-laying, cement-laying and electrical wiring activities. Special thanks to Dan Bukewicz for his leadership with that program!

Reimagining High Schools

There is a lot going on throughout our high schools. Just last summer, 62 diverse Milwaukee leaders met at the Catalyst Ranch in Chicago to reimagine what MPS high schools can and should be in order for all students to be successful and to create a vibrant Milwaukee community.  Ultimately, the SAS attendees collectively conceived a vision for the MPS high school of the future. This initiative has a strong commitment from the 60+ collaborators from the MPS High School SAS. The GMC, in partnership with Milwaukee Public schools continues to take on projects like the Super School grant with Morse Marshall High School and the Bradley Tech Redesign plan. These efforts are increasing educational opportunities, finding innovative ways to support our schools, and enhancing outcomes for our students.

Talent Dividend/Inspire Southeast Wisconsin

Following up on our Talent Dividend program, now known as Inspire Southeast Wisconsin, in its first year, the program flourished with 110 active companies, 138 active career coaches and 270 career-based learning activities. Thousands of students learned about companies and connected with professionals in the fields they’re interested in.

Downtown Action Agenda

In May, the team of consultants working with the Downtown Action Agenda was in town for Immersion Week. This included several days of meetings to connect the consultants with the planning efforts already underway or recently completed to ensure alignment and avoid duplicative work. The civic engagement phase of the project began just in the last month. The first round of focus groups is coming up in late July and early August, and will engage 100 key community stakeholders.

Creative Placemaking

The GMC’s efforts in creative placemaking were recently spotlighted during a panel discussion as part of the National Main Street Center’s annual conference held in Milwaukee in May. Looking ahead, the Beerline Trail Extension will soon kick off summer programming along the trail in the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods.


We encourage you to stay engaged with our projects this summer. If anything jumps out at you, let us know and we’ll get you hooked in.



Julia Taylor
Greater Milwaukee Committee

Lumina Foundation aims to raise Milwaukee’s higher education attainment

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published June 12, 2014

A newly announced partnership between the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation and the Greater Milwaukee Committee has a pretty lofty goal: to substantially increase the number of city residents with postsecondary degrees.

Merilou Gonzales, director of the GMC’s Talent Dividend Initiative, said the committee already outlined a few specific goals it would like to meet by 2020: to nearly double the number of associate degree holders from 34% currently to 61% and and to increase the number of bachelor’s degree holders from 27% to 33%.

And although those marks may seem a bit daunting, Gonzales said she’s optimistic about the project.

“We’ve done environment scans, and we feel pretty confident we can meet the goal,” she said.

Of course, Lumina’s endowment of more than $1 billion may make the high-reaching objective just a bit easier.

The foundation already invested a lot of its resources into the effort around the country. In 2012 alone, the foundation offered 70 grants to metro areas totaling about $30 million. In this next round of grants — totaling $13 million nationally — Milwaukee is one of 35 cities eligible to receive up to $160,000 through the partnership over the next two and a half years.

To read more, please click here.

Urgent: My Life! My Plan! Career coaches needed!

My Life! My Plan!

Career Coaches Needed!

 October 9, 2012
10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Alexander Hamilton High School
6215 West Warnimont Avenue/Milwaukee, WI

Be a part of the solution by participating as a Career Coach in this unique workshop designed to help high school students connect the dots between where they are today and their future career.  You will guide a small group of youth through interactive exercises to explore career and educational pathways that will be in demand in the Metro Milwaukee region!

GMC Talent Dividend logoMake a real and long-lasting difference in the life of a central city youth!  Take home skills you can use with youth in your own life!  This project supports the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Talent Dividend initiative.

No previous coaching experience is necessary.  A training session will be provided.  Sign up now by contacting Merilou V. Gonzales, Milwaukee Talent Dividend Program Consultant, at 414-491-1140 or mgonzales@gmconline.org.

New program helps high school students plan career paths

From Fox 6 News
September 18, 2012

SOUTH MILWAUKEE — It is never too early to think about a career.  While many young people may change their minds as they grow and learn, it’s good to know what the opportunities are and what it takes to achieve them. A workshop called “My Life! My Plan!” is designed to pair students with mentors to explore careers.

“I definitely want a job that’s going to set me up for success in my future. I’m looking into pharmacy or maybe a lawyer,” Jessica Agalliu, a sophomore at South Milwaukee High School said.

On Tuesday, September 18th, Agalliu and dozens of other students took part in the workshop. The students were paired with mentors to explore careers and develop a plan – discussing which classes to take, which schools to attend and how to develop the skill sets necessary for that field.

For the full story and video, please click here.

Career planning pilot in area schools receives $30,000 grant

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published September 18, 2012

A Milwaukee-area program that’s matching up trained mentors from area businesses with high school students to talk about career options could become a statewide model, the leader of the state Department of Workforce Development said Tuesday at South Milwaukee High School.

Reggie Newson, head of the department, announced the state would provide $30,000 to the Greater Milwaukee Committee as the nonprofit works on an initiative over the next nine months to provide personalized career pathways for 3,000 Milwaukee-area students.

Most of those participating students will be from Milwaukee Public Schools, but the My Life! My Plan! program is also being tried out at South Milwaukee High School.

The idea isn’t revolutionary. Students traditionally receive advice from high school counselors, parents and teachers when it comes to planning for life after high school, from college planning to immediate career training opportunities.

But the My Life! My Plan! effort attempts to standardize that process for schools and add an important element: volunteers from area businesses who undergo training to coach students, connect with them on a personal level and offer insight about what their business is looking for in future employees.

To read the full story, click here.

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