Milwaukee TechForce Training Center Named Best Public/Private Partnership of 2016
The Milwaukee Business Journal named the Milwaukee TechForce Training Center the Best Public/Private Partnership of 2016 at its annual Real Estate Awards, held Thursday, April 13, 2017.
“The creative partnership behind TechForce has established a new community resource to connect people to tech-related jobs,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “TechForce represents the positive impact of public and private entities working together for the greater good.”
Opened in 2016, TechForce was developed by the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) in partnership with St. Francis of Assisi Parish, the Adult Learning Center (ALC), Employ Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), and Milwaukee Public Schools.
“The TechForce partnership offers an educational pipeline that serves both those who are seeking family-supporting jobs and employers who need a trained workforce in the key Information Technology sector of the economy,” said Tony Pérez, HACM Secretary-Executive Director. “The vision for TechForce required a leap of faith, and we are thankful to our partners for helping to make that vision a reality.”
Co-located with the ALC on the St. Francis parish campus, TechForce offers programming that provides a bridge between the ALC’s adult basic education program and careers in IT.
The project involved renovations and an addition to the St. Francis Social Center, which originally opened in 1926. Underutilized storage space was renovated into two technology-rich classrooms, study lounges, and office space for instructors. The project also added a new accessible entrance and reception area, conference rooms, and an elevator. Technology for the classrooms was provided by MATC. Construction was funded by a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Capital Fund Education & Training Center Grant competitively awarded to HACM.
“This partnership has helped revive an historic space and put it back into service to the community,” said St. Francis’ Father Michael Bertram. “St. Francis Parish and the Capuchin friars are very happy and committed to being a part of the life of the community and serving its needs."
TechForce is home to Employ Milwaukee’s TechHire IT training program, which began classes this spring and is funded by a U.S. Department of Labor grant. Employ Milwaukee and its partner Blue 1647 are providing the training for individuals who wish to pursue a career in certain IT occupations. After completing the 12-week program, the students will have earned the industry-recognized CompTIA A Plus certification and gained additional IT skills making them job ready for an entry- or mid-level IT position.
Additional workforce development activities have been held at TechForce, including the Boys & Girls Club Sponsor-A-Scholar program, the Earn & Learn Summer Youth Internship Program, and the Greater Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce Lunch & Learn Program.