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

Education Partner eNews 
8th Edition
Paul Jadin, President of MadREP receives the award
MadREP Wins Mid-American Economic Develpment Award for Inspire Madison Region initiative!

The Mid-America Economic Development Council presented its annual Economic Development awards at the 2017 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference & Site Selector Forum, held December 3-5 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago.

Award entries were accepted in two markets per category - large market (annual marketing budget over $100,000) and small market (annual marketing budget under $100,000).
The trophy
Thanks to the collective hard work of our partners in education and business, MadREP won first place in the small division Workforce Development category for the Inspire Madison Region initiative!
The Workforce Development category included activities to attract new workforce, strengthen the skills of existing workforce or encourage retention of youth in a specific area. 
Thank you for your continued hard work making Inspire a success and helping to build our future workforce!
Click here to read more about the winners of the competition.
Know a Company That's A Good Fit For Inspire? 

Educators and Employers Put Minds Together at First Inspire Educators User Group Meeting

On November 10th, educators from several Inspire school districts came together to learn from each other on how they are using Inspire in their schools. A special thanks to those of you who were able to participate! 

Representatives from a handful of participating businesses also joined the meeting and added their voices from the business perspective.

The meeting was a success as participants shared their ideas, experiences and successes using Inspire. Educators talked about some of the opportunities that their students have been able to participate in through Inspire and talked about how they'd like to see Inspire grow. They also gave details on ways they are using Inspire such as through specific career-focused courses, in counseling sessions and through advisories. 

Employers from MEC, John Deere, UW-Health, Widen Enterprises and City of Madison shared their excitement about developing the future talent pipeline and talked about how their organizations are making connections with schools through Inspire and other avenues. They also talked about how in some cases their specific industries may have barriers to working with youth and suggested ways to overcome those challenges.

One outcome of the meeting was a tentative plan to get together two times per year as a group and via webinar at least one other time during the academic year. The Inspire Madison Region team encourages more educators to participate in these discussions, so please let us know if you're interested in joining us for the next event.

We're also creating a Google group to continue the conversation online. We'll be sharing best practices, ideas and answering questions in a peer-to-peer format. If you weren't at the event but would like to be added to the Google group, request to be added here.  If you were at the event, you'll be receiving an invitation to join in the next week or so.

Also, we may look at starting employer-focused events like this as well. Let us know if you'd be interested in particpating as an educator.

Thanks again for all you are doing in your schools to increase the career readiness of tomorrow's workforce!
Not an Online Career Coach Yet? It's Easy. Register Now!

Career Coach Message Board Highlight: Baker

Alyssa   asked   on 12/12/2017
Can you sample the foods you make and what do you have to do to become a baker
Tegan   answered   on 12/13/2017
I would advise always sampling your product! As someone who likes to provide good quality, sampling your work is a must. You can then better answer questions from customers, and give advice on what products you recommend. To become a baker, you can start at home. Bake for your family and friends. When you are ready to start a position at a bakery you can then have a head start. There are classes available at local colleges and technical colleges as well. It is a fun career, however, there are many tricks to learn. So taking a class would be recommended.
Elements of Message Board Questions

Since the academic year began, there has a been huge increase in students asking questions on the career message boards. That's great news! We've also seen some excellent questions coming from students.

We also see some questions that are not well thought out. That is understadable due to the range in age and ability among students who can access Career Cruising. From time to time there are also nonsensical or even innappropriate messages posted. All of this is expected and something that we understand will happen. We try to screen all questions coming through so that our career coaches never receive those messages - but we can't catch everything. In some cases, you may receive a flagged message if a message contained something we feel you should know about.

In some cases students ask questions like "do you think I'd be good at this career?". What we've found is students  often think that career coaches are able to see their matchmaker results and provide feedback based on that. This is not the case. Career coaches can only see a student's first name and the question at hand. 

What are the elements of a good message board question? Here are some suggestions that we've heard from Career Coaches and developed along the way:

1. Review other questions: Before asking a question a student should take a look at  answers to previous questions to make sure they're not duplicating it.

2.  Do research: The student should have at least a little understanding about the career at hand. They can get information directly from the Career Cruising profile or from other sources.

3. Ask specific questions: Instead of a question to a baker like "do you like your job?" rephrase it to say "What are the top three things that you like about your job?". The more specific and detailed the question is, the better and more informative the answers tend to be. And the career coaches probably enjoy answering those questions more!

4. Include important details: If the student wants to ask the career coach their opinion on something they are doing related to the career, the student should make sure to include the specifics. Instead of "would I be good at this career?" a student could say "I'm not the strongest mathematician, but I excel at problem solving; should I consider a career in Engineering?" That was an actual question from a student posted to a message board.

5. Use Career Cruising Resources: It may also be helpful to review and/or use Career Cruising's Message Boards Classroom Activity. It's a helpful guide that builds a broader context and understanding of a career before generating ideas for questions to ask an expert on the message boards.

We truly appreciate the hard work that our education partners put in introducing their students to the tools that Inspire provides. The message boards present a unique way to inform young people about the careers and industries important to our communities, our region and our state. It's great to see these tools being put to use and benefiting our region's young people.

Thank you for your service!
Inspire Status Update

The Inspire team along with help from its partners in education and business continues to make great progress growing the initiative. Take a look at our latest combined data from Inspire Madison Region & Inspire Rock County.
Counties included: Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Jefferson, Richland, Rock, Sauk 

* Top performer status is achieved when the total # of unique logins exceeds 50% of the active student portfolios in a school.

Inspire Feature
Current as of 12.11.17
# of Employer Profiles
# of Online Career Coaches
# of Careers with At Least One Coach
# of Careers Profiled in Career Cruising
# of Experiential Learning Activities Offered by Participating Employers

Users with Access to Inspire
Current Total as of 11.30.17
Students with Access
75,143 ( up from approximately 71,427 in October 2017)
Student Portfolios with a Saved Career 37,214 (up from 32,232  in October 2017)
Educators with Access 5,665 (up from 5,305 in September 2017)

Listed below are the school districts that participate in Inspire Madison Region. Also included are the three technical colleges and all full-service job centers in the seven counties: 

Columbia County:

Cambria-Friesland School District
Columbus School District
Fall River School District
Lodi School District
Pardeeville School District 
Portage School District
Portage Academy of Achievement
Poynette School District
Randolph School District 
Rio School District 
Wisconsin Dells School District

Crawford County (School Participation Managed By Prosperity Southwest)
North Crawford School District (Soldier's Grove)
Prairie Du Chien School District
Seneca School District

Dane County:
Belleville School District
Dane County Job Center
Deerfield School District
DeForest School District
Oregon School District
Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison College
Marshall School District
McFarland School District
Monona Grove School District
Middle-Cross Plains Area School District
Portage Academy of Achievement
Mt. Horeb School District
Stoughton School District
Sun Prairie School District
Verona School District 
Waunakee School District 
Wisconsin Destinations Career Academy
Wisconsin Heights

Dodge County
Beaver Dam Unified School District
Dodgeland School District 
Horicon School District
Hustisford School District
Lomira School District
Mayville School District
Moraine Park Technical College
Waupun School District 

Grant County (School Participation Managed By Prosperity Southwest)
Riverdale School District

Green County
Albany School District
Blackhawk Technical College 
Brodhead School District
Juda School District
Monroe School District
Monticello School District
New Glarus School District

Iowa County
Barneveld School District
Dodgeville School District
Highland School District
Pecatonica School District
Mineral Point School District

Jefferson County
Cambridge School District
Fort Atkinson School District
Lake Mills School District
Jefferson School District
Johnson Creek School District
Job Center of Jefferson County
Palmyra/Eagle School District
Waterloo School District 
Watertown School District 

Lafayette County (School Participation Managed By Prosperity Southwest)
Shullsburg School District

Richland County (School Participation Managed By Prosperity Southwest)
Weston School District (Cazenovia)

Sauk County
Baraboo School District
Reedsburg School District
River Valley High School
Sauk Prairie School District 


Students and educators in the Rock County districts listed below can connect with Inspire Madison Region employers and vice versa, but school and employer participation in Rock County is managed by Inspire Rock County. Students in the Inspire Madison Region counties listed above can also connect with employers participating in Inspire Rock County.

Rock County 
Beloit College
Beloit School District
Beloit Turner School District
Blackhawk Technical College
Clinton Community School District
Edgerton School District
Evansville School District
Janesville School District
Milton School District
Parkview School District
UW-Rock County
New Business Partners in the Month of November!

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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 |