Partnering with Waukesha County schools

We know that every day, our schools are doing more and more to partner with business. We too, are expanding our efforts in the area of K-12 relationships, business and education partnerships, workforce development and supporting districts in their academic and career planning work. In recent years, this work has increased dramatically. We’re excited that for the 2018-19 school year, 12 school districts in Waukesha County have committed to work with the Alliance to take these efforts to the next level.

We know that building a pipeline of skilled talent is the number one concern facing most of our member companies, and our school districts know that too. We’re excited to work with them to build our future workforce by exposing students to all the career opportunities in Waukesha County.

Here are some of the things we’re doing in partnership with our schools, focusing on the four driver industries in Waukesha County (manufacturing, health care, construction and information technology):

  • Schools2Skills™ – Schools2Skills™ started in 2011 to give Waukesha County high schools the opportunity to tour local manufacturers and see firsthand the innovative and advanced technology right here in southeast Wisconsin. Schools2Skills™ is dedicated to educating students about what the manufacturing industry has to offer, showing them that a career in manufacturing allows those with highly technical skills to excel and succeed.
  • Careers Uncovered – Careers Uncovered is a new program designed to help Waukesha County educators learn more about the career pathways offered in Waukesha County’s key industries. Educators visit a local company to learn about the career pathways available in the industry, tour the company and network with employees from all areas of business operations and have a roundtable discussion with company leadership. The experience concludes with educators working together to reflect and put together an action plan to apply the knowledge they gained to assist with the academic and career planning process. To date, more than 60 educators have attended Careers Uncovered at six locations.
  • Workforce Readiness Dashboard – The state of Wisconsin already has a tool that measures ACT scores, GPA and more for K-12 educational institutions. Those measurements can be referred to as “college-ready” skills. Over the past seven months, a small action team of educators and businesses leaders have been working on the Workforce Readiness Dashboard to measure college, career and life skills. The tool will be sent out to all public and private school districts on August 1.
  • Superintendent/President Roundtables – We’ve formed a quarterly Superintendent/President Roundtable to give Waukesha County superintendents and school presidents the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with an industry leader and discuss the growth of that industry. So far, we have hosted two roundtables.
  • MADE model – The Alliance supports the MADE (Manufacturing, Automotive, Design and Engineering) model for the School District of Waukesha to strengthen business/education partnerships and create real-world, project-based learning opportunities for students that help students learn about those industries.
  • Bridging the Gap for Waukesha County – Bridging the Gap for Waukesha County is an annual program showcasing best practices of successful business/education partnerships, along with strategies for replicating and building on successful models already in place around the county. Business and education leaders from throughout Waukesha County come for an informative session on building the future workforce through better connections between businesses and educational institutions.
  • MADE and Many Futures in Health Care career expos – The Alliance hosts two career expos featuring manufacturing, automotive, design, engineering, construction and health care companies to give students hands-on experiences and show them all the career pathways available in those industries.

Most of these initiatives have come out of our Education Steering Council, which is a group made up of business leaders, school district superintendents, school presidents and community leaders focused on making sure students in Waukesha County schools are graduating college- and career-ready.

Schools in Waukesha County want to connect with business and form partnerships. Our schools are part of the solution and we’re proud to be helping to build business/education partnerships throughout the county!

Read more about the develop tenet of our workforce development strategy here.