Inspire Madison Region Updates - Please Read and Forward to Your Colleagues!

Business Partner eNews 
4th Edition
As we begin 2017, it is good to look back and see all the progress that was made in 2016 with the Inspire Madison Region initiative.  2016 will be the year we remember as the one where school and business enrollment in the program really took off.  Indeed, we are ahead of where we had anticipated we would be at this point (see our metrics elsewhere in this e-news), and the future of the initiative looks very bright.  But the number of participating school districts and businesses we have are merely ingredients in this process.  The desired end product will be how many real connections we can make between our students and businesses, whether that's through experiential learning activities or connections with online career coaches.  And that is what I am looking forward to in 2017. 
With over forty school districts either "live" or about to go "live" on the system, the demand by students to connect with businesses this Spring Semester is expected to grow exponentially.  And that's where you, our business partners, come into play.  Please sign into your Inspire account today and review the experiential learning activities your organization has volunteered for.  See if there is another one or two that you would be comfortable adding.  And if you're unsure about what is involved in offering a specific activity, please contact our Inspire specialist, Adrian Crabb at for more information.  Also, remember that we are always looking for more online career coaches willing to answer an occasional question about what they do in their job.  These connections, as simple as they are, can be life-changing for a student.
So I encourage you, business partners, to "hit the ground running" this Spring Semester by being responsive to students looking to connect to career coaches and experiential learning opportunities in your organizations.   With your help (both this Spring Semester and next Fall Semester), when we look back at 2017 a year from now we will see it as the year where participation by our students in experiential learning activities really took off.   
Thank you for your commitment to our students in the Madison Region.
Gene P. Dalhoff, Vice President - Talent and Education
Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP)
Be Generous: 
Forward Inspire eNews to Your Colleagues :)

New Tutorials for Business Partners!

Recently, Career Cruising created four tutorial videos for our business partners to help you utilize your company profile and the tools it provides. Please take a look and share with others from your company who have joined Inspire Madison Region.

Subjects include:
  • Utilizing the Partner Portal
  • Updating Your Company Profile
  • Answering Message Board Posts
  • Responding to Experiential Learning Activity (ELA) Requests
To access the tutorials, please go to:
Customized Experiential Learning Activities - Make Them Work for Your Company

As Inspire rolls out across our seven counties, more students and educators are making requests for Experiential Learning Activities (ELAs) that our business partners have offered.

Some companies have expressed the need to communicate requirements for their job shadows and/or other ELAs they are offering. For example, one of our healthcare partners requires that job shadows be scheduled a certain period of time in advance, and that students must be at least 16 years old among other specifics. Other companies may have different guidelines for their ELAs. 

The good news is that Inspire allows you to create customized ELAs that spell out your requirements and guidelines for an activity whether it's a job shadow, internship or another activity. When a student or educator finds your customized ELA, they will see all of your specifics before they make a request.

To create a custom ELA, follow these steps:

1. Log-in to your Career Cruising Business Partner Portal:
2. Click on "Experiential Learning Activities" on the left navigation panel
3. Click on "View Participation" from the expanded menu item
4. Click on "Add New Opportunity" in the middle of the body of the page that opens
5. Fill out the fields with the specific requirements and guidelines for your ELA
6. Click Save

Customization options you have using this tool are:
  • Custom ELA name
  • Type of ELA (select from dropdown)
  • Follow up Contact (specify person in your company)
  • ELA status (active, inactive)
  • Location
  • ELA dates
  • Time Commitment 
  • Compensation (if any)
  • Application Deadline
  • Description of ELA
  • Qualifications for ELA
  • Application Instructions  

In the coming months, MadREP and the Inspire team plan to put together some best practice materials on the most popular ELAs to help employers structure their activities to provide the best value for students, educators and the company. Stay tuned! 

Inspire in the News!

The Inspire Madison Region is thankful for last month's media coverage of the initiative. Neil Heinen of  WISC-TV / Channel 3000 covered MadREP's  Inspire initiative in a recent editorial.
"These are up-close experiences that will help kids prepare to be the workers new economy businesses will need as they grow here. It's smart strategy by MadREP, and - if done right - will help reduce disparities as it nurtures our workforce."

Featured Employer: John Deere

Editor's Note: This edition, Steve Johnson, Factory Manager at John Deer
e-Horicon Works talks about why he supports 
Inspire Madison Region and connections with students.

John Deere Horicon supports Inspire Madison Region because it provides students with access to information about the types of jobs in manufacturing, the actual requirements of the jobs and allows connections to mentors who can provide students 'real life' information about those jobs. It also can provide students with better information on what manufacturing is today and dispel the negative myths. Manufacturing can provide great jobs for all skills levels and the better we can connect students to these options through Inspire, it becomes a win-win for students and manufacturing.
Steve Johnson
Factory Manager
John Deere Horicon Works

 You can be an online career coach too!

Career Coach Message Board Highlight: Athletic Trainer

Student Question:

Is it fun helping people work out?

Career Coach Answer:
Hi Aimee. Thanks for your question. Yes, it is fun and rewarding helping people work out. Over the years, my clients have come from all walks of life, with different athletic backgrounds and various fitness goals. So each person is unique and that makes my job fun and challenging. With each new client I not only learn something new but I can then help more people with what I have learned.
Inspire Status Update

The Inspire team along with its partners in education and business continues to make great progress growing the initiative. Take a look at our latest data.
Counties served: Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Sauk (Crawford, Grant, Lafayette, Richland counties are in the process of adding schools and employers)
Inspire Feature
Current as of 01.24.17
# of Employer Profiles
242 (goal 250 by April 2017)
# of Online Career Coaches
271 (goal 275 by April 2017)
# of Careers with At Least One Coach
# of Careers Profiled in Career Cruising
# of Experiential Learning Activities Offered by Participating Employers

In the month of December Our Top Performing Schools and Other Activity Levels:

System-wide Data as of December 21st, 2016

Users with Access to Inspire
Current Total as of 11.21.16
School Districts and other Outlets with Access
32 (goal 40 by April 2017)
Students with Access
Student Portfolios with a Saved Career 13,902
Educators with Access 2,453

Currently active school districts/access sites:

Columbia County:

Cambria-Friesland School District
Columbus School District
Fall River School District
Lodi School District
Pardeeville School District 
Portage School District
Poynette School District 
Rio School District 

Dane County:

Dane County Consortium (Youth Apprenticeship Programs)
Dane County Job Center
Deerfield School District
DeForest School District 
Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison College
Marshall School District
McFarland School District
Middleton School District
Mt. Horeb School District
Verona School District 

Dodge County
Beaver Dam Unified School District
Dodgeland School District 
Horicon School District
Waupun School District 

Green County
Monroe School District
Blackhawk Technical College 

Iowa County
Highland School District

Jefferson County
Cambridge School District
Jefferson County School to Work Consortium (Youth Apprenticeship)
Job Center of Jefferson County

Sauk County
Baraboo School District
River Valley High School
Sauk Prairie School District 
New Collaboration
Inspire Madison Region is happy to be working with United Madison to help build ties between students and area businesses.  United Madison is a movement designed to "Unite and Lift up our Community" through a multimedia "Positive" Service Announcement and "Give Back" Initiative that ties businesses, schools, churches and non-profits together. 
Inspire Madison Region is the platform for United Madison to help connect business mentors with students.  For more information about United Madison, please visit their website at

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Inspire Madison Region is a talent development initiative of the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP).
For more information about MadREP, please visit
Adrian Crabb | Inspire Madison Region | 608-345-8378 |