Author: jpeshek

I'm 43 and am Gettin on the Wagon. Thanks for checking in.

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LearnSomethingNew

Falling out of the habit of blogging is a bad thing. A “thing” I am going to put an end to because it’s easy to do and it’s in my control. So, lacking inspiration, I am going to post a few links to articles and interesting tidbits I’ve stumbled upon during my day as a Director of Fund Development…..

White House to Address Disparities for Women, Girls of Color, Philanthropy News Digest, November 13, 2014

Number of Homeless Children in America Surges to All Time High, A/P via Huffington Post, November 17, 2014

What if Everything You Ever Knew About Poverty was Wrong, Mother Jones, March/April 2014

What drives people to GIVE, to VOLUNTEER, to TAKE ACTION?

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October 16, 2014 – Milwaukee Planners & Grantwriters Roundtable, Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee
9-11am at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Join us for a dynamic panel discussion exploring the psychology behind giving and how savvy marketing initiatives can take your mission to the next VIRAL level.

Panelists:
Kevin Tissot, LPC
Pathways Counseling Center

LaShawndra Vernon, United Way of Greater Milwaukee
LIHF – Lifecourse Initiative Healthy Families

Scott Marshall, Hunger Task Force
Director of Development

Sign up today!

Turning Business Connections into Corporate Partnerships

networking
The magic to corporate-nonprofit partnership is in the nexus of interests. How well does the nonprofit’s mission align with how the corporation sees itself and its role in the community? We’ll be getting down to the brass tacks of partnership development with an exciting and knowledgeable panel:

Debbie Knepke, Corporate and Events Manager
Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee, Inc.

Pamila Brown, Community Investment Specialist – Corporate Affairs
Manpower Group

Meg McKenna, Director of Development
VISIT Milwaukee

Wednesday, July 30th, 9-11am – Register Here

MANPOWER PLACE, MILWAUKEE
100 Manpower Place

Parking available on the street and in Visitor Parking Lot. Visitor parking is located on the 1st level of the parking structure located at the northeast corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and Cherry Street. Enter the structure off of Cherry Street.

Press Release: WRTP/BIG STEP names interim President and CEO

Mark Kessenich to Lead Organization

By WRTP /BIG STEP – Jul 15th, 2014

July 15, 2014 (Milwaukee, Wis.) – WRTP/BIG STEP, a nationally recognized, local workforce development intermediary announced that Mark Kessenich has been named interim President and CEO effective immediately. Kessenich has held the position of Vice President at WRTP/BIG STEP since 2012, and succeeds Earl Buford after more than 15 years of dedicated service to the organization. Buford was recently appointed President and CEO of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB), by City of Milwaukee Mayor, Tom Barrett.

“We are grateful to Earl for his leadership, vision, and his ability to help us navigate through the many changes in workforce development over the past decade,” said Mike Fabishak, Co-Chair of the WRTP/BIG STEP Board of Directors. “Earl is a leader in the truest sense of the term, and because of that he is leaving the organization in very capable hands.”

The WRTP/BIG STEP Board is beginning a national search for Earl’s permanent replacement, but unanimously voted to appoint Kessenich as interim President and CEO.

Kessenich joined WRTP/BIG STEP in 2012 as Director of Planning and Development, and was named Vice President later that year. His 17 year-career has focused on meeting workforce needs through planning and policy efforts, while working hand-in-hand with industry and community partners. Prior to joining WRTP/BIG STEP, Kessenich worked as the Director of Planning and Development at the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board where he developed a national reputation for his work and expertise in workforce development. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and serves on a variety of local and national Boards, including the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals.

In 2013, WRTP/BIG STEP exceeded their workforce goals by serving 1862 individuals, placing 743 into careers with an average hourly wage of $17.00. As an industry-led organization, WRTP/BIG STEP’s unique workforce model has allowed them to attain successes garnering them national and local attention including the 2013 Construction Users Roundtable Workforce Development Award, as well as being selected the workforce partner on the Northwestern Mutual Headquarters project in downtown Milwaukee.

Those goals were supported and advanced through Kessenich’s role at the organization, and will continue to be a primary focus in his new role. “I’m honored to be named WRTP/BIG STEP’s interim President and CEO, and to continue working toward our mission,” remarked Kessenich. “We have tremendous industry partners who are committed to building the most skilled, qualified, and diverse workforce in the world. Through their support and leadership, we are able to connect our new workforce to family-supporting careers, and position our current workforce to help our industries compete and grow.”

WRTP/BIG STEP has long been partners with MAWIB, and will continue to work with Buford in his new role to strengthen area workforce development efforts.

“Knowing WRTP/BIG STEP’s capabilities, I am confident we’ll continue building a competitive and more inclusive environment for job creation in manufacturing, construction and emerging sectors of the regional economy,” stated Buford.

“As a long standing and active supporter of WRTP/BIG STEP, we can say with certainty that WRTP/BIG STEP will remain committed to expanding and enhancing our partnerships with key industries and our community,” said Sheila Cochran, Co-Chair of the WRTP/BIG STEP Board of Directors.

“With Mark’s experience and ability to forge successful relationships, we will continue to garner great organizational success and create exponential opportunities for the community and its members now and into the future,” she added.

About WRTP/BIG STEP
The Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/Building Industry Group’s Skilled Trades Employment Program is an innovative and nationally recognized non-profit workforce intermediary that is Industry-Led, Worker-Centered and Community-Focused. WRTP/BIG STEP’s mission is to enhance the ability of public and private sector organizations to recruit and develop a diverse, qualified workforce in construction, manufacturing and emerging industry sectors of the regional economy.

Milwaukee Flyers to Perform at Bastille Days – Kids Day, Sat. July 12th

More than ever, many of Milwaukee’s youth face challenging odds: poverty, hunger, crime, violence, gang life, homelessness, unemployment, drugs and alcohol, absentee parents and negative role models. Experts agree that after school programs that expand learning and special training opportunities are part of the equation for educational success in Milwaukee (source: WI Department of Public Instruction).

The Milwaukee Flyers provide a positive alternative for Milwaukee’s youth. Affirmative relationships with mentors and coaches help youth better navigate life choices. Tumbling encourages physical activity. Programs like the Milwaukee Flyers help weigh the odds in their favor.

The Flyers will be performing at Milwaukee’s Bastille Days on Saturday, July 12th.  ]

flyers

Training Programs Help Families Reach New Heights

One of my clients is WRTP/BIG STEP – Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership.  WRTP/BIG STEP is a non-profit workforce development intermediary.  WRTP is Industry Led, Worker-Centered and Community Focused.   Their mission is to enhance the ability of public and private sector organizations to recruit and develop a more diverse, qualified workforce in construction, manufacturing and emerging industry sectors of the regional economy.

And, they are doing just that.

I was pleased to coordinate a recognition event just recently to honor 35 adults who successfully completed WRTP/BIG STEP’s DOT Road Building TrANS Class Program.  Program partners including Arrow-Crete Construction, LLC, Dawe’s Rigging & Crane Rental, Iron Workers Local 8, Payne & Dolan, Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Mason’s International Association – Local 599 (OPCMIA), Southeastern Wisconsin Carpentry Training Center, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and the Wisconsin Laborers Apprenticeship & Training Program.

Representing program participants, graduate Danny Jones shared his journey. He eloquently thanked WRTP/BIG STEP and its DOT TrANS Road Building Program saying it allowed him to “take a big step” towards a successful career.

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This program trains adults for construction related careers — life and family sustaining careers.  These folks will be working on the Zoo Interchange Project and countless other projects as our city embarks on a boom of sorts, in construction, labor and manufacturing.

Milwaukee has a lot of people who need work, and a lot of work to be done – it’s a win-win for everyone.

 

You can learn more about WRTP at http://www.wrtp.org.

 

 

 

 

Milwaukee launches workforce development plan

June 9, 2014

Mayor Tom Barrett, other city leaders and workforce development officials have high hopes the new $450 million Northwestern Mutual office tower in downtown Milwaukee will provide meaningful jobs to city residents.

On Monday, Barrett officially launched a new workforce development plan aimed at connecting city residents with construction jobs at Northwestern Mutual’s work site.

Construction on the 32-story, 550-foot tower, to be built adjacent to its historic 1914 headquarters in downtown Milwaukee, is scheduled to begin this fall. The project is expected to be completed near the end of 2017.

The city plans to use $500,000 in funds from the Nothwestern Mutual tax incremental financing district to pay for training and placement of workers. The city has contracted with the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, or WRTP/BIG STEP, and the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board to lead the training.

The plan would identify specific jobs that will be in demand on the worksite. WRTP/BIG STEP will find and train city residents who will be ready to fill 150 jobs at the worksite and another 200 workers at other construction projects.

In addition, Northwestern Mutual is aiming to exceed the requirement that 40% of the construction workforce live in the city.

Earl Buford, CEO of WRTP/BIG STEP, said the plan will provide a pathway for city residents to find meaningful work at a livable salary.

Linda Stewart, MAWIB’s COO, said not all of the new jobs will start at the same time.

“We want to get as many people in the pipeline as soon as possible,” Stewart said. “Construction is a growth sector.”

City residents interested in participating in the Workforce Development Program can call (414) 342-9787.

 

 

Climate Control

 

vortex

I live in Wisconsin where we blame everything on the weather.  We talk incessantly about the weather.

Today, last of May – is absolutely beautiful.  This is not the norm and when a few days stretch together of “non-normal” weather….we are collectively let down when it’s cruddy yet again.  We are almost surprised every time.

Why do I live here? 

I ask myself this question basically every day from November through April, and scattered days in between.

A highlight of the polar vortex that gripped our region was throwing boiling water into the subzero freakish air to see it turn into nothing more than a puff of smoke.  Later the local news reported several incidences of people being treated for burn wounds following botched experiments.

Blame it on stupidity?  No, blame it on the weather.

My personal life plan includes getting out of Wisconsin to a place much closer if not on top of the equator.  It’s just better that way.

 

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Futures Past  

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As a kid I wanted to be a ballerina, a farmer, an artist, a writer, a therapist, a veterinarian.  I wanted to run the office for “Dallas” – I just knew I was ready for the jet-setting life of oil.  I wanted to live in New York City, imagined myself lounging about being “adult” in some amazing loft.

Mostly, I just wanted to not be where I was so I took to my imagination.  A trait or should I be more accurate and say a defense-mechanism I employ to this day.  Now, while I continue on this most-of-the-time rewarding journey of a twenty-year career in fund development and philanthropy, I dream of working at Home Depot.  I really love their orange vests.

I realize that I now know more of what I don’t want to be than I know about what I want to be.  And from this mid-life perspective, I’m OK with that.

 

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