Welcome to the 2017 Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW) holiday newsletter! We want to give you an inside look at projects we focused on this fall and update you on some of our program successes. 

We celebrated our 34th Annual Meeting at the Edgewater with our business and community partners. Be sure to watch the videos we shared at the meeting honoring a few of our successful participants. And catch up on a new Marketing Youth Apprenticeship Program that launched this year.

Thank you for your partnership and support in building a stronger talent pipeline right here in South Central Wisconsin. Happy Holidays!

Pat Schramm, WDBSCW CEO
Full Board Meeting

Thursday, January 18 / 11am-1pm
Olbrich Botanical Gardens / Madison
3330 Atwood Avenue
Baraboo Business Survey Prompts Action

In April 2017, the Workforce Development Board, along with other volunteers and partners, conducted a business walk in the Baraboo area. The walkers met with more than 200 merchants to gauge the pulse of local commerce. Business leaders are now discussing the survey results and how to act on them.

WDBSCW Hosts 34th Annual Meeting, Honors Business and Aspire Award Recipients
The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW) honored 5 individuals with its Aspire Award and 2 business leaders with the Making a Difference Award during the organization's 34th Annual Board of Directors Meeting and Luncheon.

The Aspire Award honors individuals for outstanding success and achievements in the South Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Area's workforce development programs offered in collaboration with the Workforce Development Board, WorkSmart Network and partners. Nominees for the award demonstrated the motivation and persistence needed to overcome obstacles to reach their career goals.

The recipients of the 2017 Aspire Award include:
  • Alvaro Castellanos Martinez - Dave Jones Plumbing
  • Vincent Ponti - Spartan Laser
  • Chynna McNair - Madison College student
  • Ari Williams - Bimbo Bakeries of Madison
  • Aurelio Rosas - Beaver Dam Community Pediatrics
The Board also recognized 2 business leaders with its 2017 Making a Difference Award as part of the meeting. Since 1994, the award has served as an expression of gratitude and acknowledgement of the special efforts that area businesses and leaders dedicate to helping the Workforce Development Board build and implement workforce solutions for the industries as a whole. This year award recipients include:
  • Bridgett Willey - Director of Allied Health Education and Career Pathways at UW Health
  • Margaret Leitinger - Vice President at Spherion 
The event also featured a keynote presentation by Dr. Jack Daniels, III, President of Madison College, who spoke of a trailblazing approach to education and workforce development.
Did you miss the Annual Luncheon? Here are the videos we shared at the event.

Amcor - On-the-Job Training
Kayla from Amcor explains how the WorkSmart Network has helped them find quality employees using On-the-Job Training.

Vince - Middle College
See how Middle College prepared Vince for his career with Spartan Laser, where he interprets blueprints for companies like GM and NASA.

Saris - On-the-Job Training
Miguel, a Production Supervisor at Saris, explains how they utilize On-the-Job Training to build their workforce.

Chynna - Middle College
Watch how Middle College transformed Chynna's passion for culinary into a career.
YA Marketing Launch  YAMarkLaunch
On Tuesday, October 3, 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) hosted its Youth Apprenticeship Marketing Program Launch at Widen Enterprises. The new program will help high school students enter a marketing career pathway through classroom and worksite learning.

Speakers at the launch included Randy Guttenberg, Superintendent of the Waunakee Community School District, Secretary Ray Allen, DWD, and Josh Fassl, Director of the Dane County School Consortium.

Two students who piloted the new Marketing Youth Apprenticeship were also present. They shared how the program helped them achieve success and prepare them for the workforce.

Youth Apprenticeships are a proven school-to-work strategy, which coordinates high school students learning and earning in the classroom and at a worksite. It uses business-developed, state-standardized worksite skills and is one of a few work-based learning options available to high school students across the state that addresses both educational and workforce needs.

The Youth Apprenticeship program enrolled over 3,500 students in the 2016-2017 academic year, an all-time high. It offers 10 career clusters that represent the work-based learning programs and covers 50 career pathways. Other recent program additions include agricultural mechanics, carpentry and electrical.

Youth Apprenticeships are administered by regional consortia that are made up of representatives from employers, technical colleges, workforce development boards, and other stakeholders, including the WDBSCW. 
Perseverance Pays Off: Jerry's Success Story
Jerry used to visit his local American Job Center every day to use the computers to job search until the center staff noticed his perseverance and encouraged him to join the WorkSmart Network.

WorkSmart helped Jerry with career exploration and interview preparation, including gaining access to professional clothing to help him interview with confidence.

WorkSmart also connected Jerry to a 6-week work experience as a Warehouse Forklift Operator. After witnessing his work ethics, Jerry was offered a full-time, permanent position with the company.

Not long after he was hired, an opportunity arose from Jerry to move into a higher paying position if he obtained his Commercial Driver's License (CDL).

"[My WorkSmart staff] was a really big help in all this. If I had problems outside of looking for work or classes, she motivate me enough with being there just to talk or ask questions about what I should do. She really helped me out a lot in that way," explained Jerry.

Jerry enrolled in CDL training and received his license in October allowing him to move up into a driver/warehouse position.

"The greatest success I have seen is Jerry himself. When I first met him, he was very skeptical that he could achieve his goals and be a success," explained Becca, a WorkSmart Career Services Specialist who worked with Jerry. "When I speak to him now, he is a happy, confident person who sees that he has accomplished a lot and has a bright future ahead of him."

Congratulations on your new career, Jerry!
Gabi's Success Story
Gabi connected with the WorkSmart Network to explore educational opportunities available to her through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Network referred her to a CNA program and helped her strengthen her soft skills to prepare her for a career pathway in healthcare.

While in the program, Gabi had to quit her job to focus on and attend training. But she maintained a positive attitude and never lost her willingness to do well or her commitment to advancing her career. She continued to work with WorkSmart to update her applications and explore job openings.

The minute her final class ended in February, Gabi was ready to work so she scheduled her CNA Licensing Exam immediately. Before she reached her exam date, UW Health offered her a Nursing Assistant position with the condition of passing the exam within 30 days.

"I loved the part where there was a lot of communication going on [from WorkSmart] and after I finished the program they still contacted me and helped me file applications to start working at UW Health and helped me with my references," explained Gabi.

Because of her dedication, Gabi was able to return to work at a significantly higher wage with more stability and better benefits. Her long-term career pathway can lead to higher job satisfaction and a more productive career.

"When I started, I honestly was clueless about what exactly I was getting myself into. I love the customer service I get [from WorkSmart] and I just felt like they prepared me with enough [and] now I'm really happy and want to continue my education."

Gabi is working with WorkSmart to continue her training at Madison College in the Medical Assistant program.

"I just want to be better for myself. My mom was a single mother, raising 2 kids, so she never actually had the chance to graduate high school or college. All of it was just so my mom would be happy with myself and to accomplish something for both of us."
Thanks for reading! 

Stay tuned for future updates on our work across the region. In the meantime, be sure visit our website for announcements, events, news and success stories. You can also follow us on Facebook for more updates. And, we're now on Instagram and Twitter! Follow us for more pictures and updates. 

Our mission is to build public and private partnerships that support innovation and excellence in workforce development. 
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The WorkSmart Network and the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin are equal opportunity employer/program service providers. This product was created with funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). If you need assistance to access our services in a different language or need this material in an alternative format, contact us. Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired callers may reach us by using Wisconsin Relay Services at 711. Proud partners of the American Job Center network.