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Tony Evers, Governor
Caleb Frostman, 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

Friday November 9, 2018
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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DWD Announces Successful Completion of the Building Occupational Skills for Success Program

Students were Celebrated at an Entrepreneurial Showcase Event at General Mitchell International Airport

Milwaukee – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) partnered with the Milwaukee Development Corporation and launched the Building Occupational Skills for Success Program (BOSS), a Milwaukee pilot that started in January 2018. The program culminated with a celebratory showcase event at General Mitchell International Airport on October 30, 2018.

The BOSS program was funded with a one-time grant of $200,000 with support from the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee. The purpose of the program was to provide high school students with the skills and tools needed to become future Wisconsin business owners.

The program was hosted by Milwaukee College & Career High School (MC2) and its students, with additional students from Tenor High School. In total, 26 sophomores participated in the pilot and were divided into project groups to learn valuable skills in marketing, business and entrepreneurship, communication, problem-solving, and decision-making.

The final project was conducted in coordination with General Mitchell International Airport and global airport concession leaders, including HMS Host, Paradise Lagardere, and SSP Group. Students applied their new business and marketing skills to develop original concepts for airport food kiosks. The students pitched their ideas to a panel of county and airport officials. After tough deliberation, "Yummy Care" beat out the competition with its concept designed to give families with kids a place where they could find healthy food and a space where the children could relax and play.

The winning group consisted of Karina Reyes, Desteny Cruz, Josie Ortiz, Islena Zepeda-Reyes, and Ruth Arias. Their concept became a reality for one night at General Mitchell Airport. Family members, county officials and airport employees enjoyed food and beverage items chosen by the winning team for their concept.

“One of the biggest challenges we have in preparing a 21st Century workforce is the separation between workforce development and K-12 education. A big part of the BOSS Program is trying to bridge that gap, so we were thrilled to work with DWD,” said Pete Bellavia, BOSS Program Director.

"DWD is proud to invest in our children. This program gives students a real flavor of what it's like to build out a business concept," said Chytania Brown. "Hopefully, the experience and skills they learned from BOSS will stay with them and embolden their entrepreneurial spirit."

You can learn more about the program at http://www.boss414.com.