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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Thursday, March 23, 2017
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
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DWD Deputy Secretary Maxwell Congratulates GPS Education Partners for Winning Mutual of America Awards

MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell today congratulated regional Youth Apprenticeship (YA) consortium GPS Education Partners for receiving the Mutual of America Foundation's 2016 Community Partnership Award and Merit Finalist Award during a celebratory luncheon at The Pfister Hotel. GPS Education Partners was awarded the prestigious national recognition for leveraging public and private partnerships to deliver innovative, credentialed work-based learning opportunities for high school students.

"Department of Workforce Development – Youth Apprenticeship consortiums, like GPS Education Partners, play an integral role in preparing Wisconsin high school students for rewarding careers through paid, hands-on learning at local employer worksites," said Deputy Secretary Maxwell. "Our agency congratulates GPS Education Partners for winning the Mutual of America awards. The recognition is truly deserved."

Established in 1991, Wisconsin’s YA program is authorized by state statute to help high school students who thrive in a hands-on learning environment gain academic and technical instruction with mentored on-the-job training in an occupational area of interest over one or two years. Students who complete the program receive a YA completion certificate and may receive technical college credit and graduate with the skills needed to accept an entry-level position in their desired occupational area.

Local YA programs are operated by regional consortiums that include organizations, such as GPS Education Partners, school districts, Wisconsin Technical College System institutions, employers, registered apprenticeship programs and participating labor organizations, chambers of commerce and other workforce and economic development organizations. State General Purpose Revenue makes competitive grants available to DWD-approved YA consortiums to support student and employer recruitment, education, training and evaluation.

"This award embodies exactly the work that we have all been doing together," said GPS Education Partners' President and CEO Stephanie Borowski. "GPS has taken 16 years of proven experience and built a scalable model that can better meet the needs of students and business. We’re on a journey to change the lives of thousands of students, to validate technical career pathways as a viable career choice and to provide a pathway to prosperity for more families and communities."

Wisconsin invested $3.2 million in Youth Apprenticeship grants last year to provide more than 3,000 high school juniors and seniors with access to innovative school-to-work solutions at nearly 2,300 businesses, including $196,200 to GPS Education Partners to help serve 218 students. Governor Walker's 2017-19 budget proposal sustains YA funding with the ability to increase support based on demand.

Learn more about DWD's Youth Apprenticeship program

About GPS Education Partners

GPS Education Partners is an innovative education model that prepares and partners high school juniors and seniors with businesses to accelerate technical education and drive success. Students who complete the rigorous program earn their high school diploma and nationally-recognized manufacturing certifications, as well as develop skills for life and experience a career in manufacturing by participating in a hands-on, immersive, blended learning setting in local manufacturing environments. By connecting the students and employers of today with the job opportunities and technology of tomorrow, the organization is revolutionizing how students prepare for a technical career. For more information, visit gpsed.org, Facebook and Twitter.

About the Mutual of America Community Partnership Award

The Mutual of America Community Partnership Award annually honors the outstanding contributions that nonprofit organizations, in partnership with public, private and other social sector organizations, make to society. Since 1996, the Community Partnership Award has recognized 210 partnerships from cities and towns across America. To learn more, visit mutualofamerica.com/cpa.

About Mutual of America

Mutual of America specializes in providing retirement products and services to organizations and their employees, as well as to individuals. Since 1945, Mutual of America has remained committed to offering plan sponsors, plan participants and individuals carefully selected, quality products and services at a competitive price and the personal attention they need to help build and preserve assets for a financially secure future. For more information, visit mutualofamerica.com.