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Mentorship program for high school students expands Wisconsin chapter to Madison

By: Ethan Duran//December 5, 2022//

Mentorship program for high school students expands Wisconsin chapter to Madison

By: Ethan Duran//December 5, 2022//

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Milwaukee-area teens try out protective gear and interactive construction trades stations during Trades Day in the Milwaukee Center District in mid-October. ACE Mentor Program of Wisconsin announced it would serve high school students in the Milwaukee and Madison areas. (Photo courtesy of Gilbane)

The ACE Mentor Program of Wisconsin announced Friday it will expand its 2022-23 programs to introduce high school students in the Madison and Milwaukee areas to construction, architecture and engineering career paths.

Teens attend weekly meetings and work with construction professionals and design hypothetical projects, tour job sites and visit architectural, engineering and construction offices through the international program. Efforts to build talented and skilled professionals will extend to schools in and around Madison going forward, program officials said.

“I am so, so proud of our 5-year journey! We have assembled a great team of mentors, mentored hundreds of students and provided annual scholarships to local Milwaukee students,” Wisconsin Chapter Chairperson and Gilbane COO Adam Jelen said in a statement. “It is gratifying to see the program’s significant impact to build talented and skilled professionals for the future, which will now include Milwaukee and Madison under the ACE Mentor Program of Wisconsin.”

ACE also announced a list of business leaders who entered the program as board members, mentors and financial sponsors. Here’s a list of the 2022-23 executive board members.

  • Chairperson – Adam Jelen of Gilbane Building Co.
  • Vice chairperson – Brent Pitcher of GRAEF
  • Treasurer – Bill Ball of Grunau
  • Secretary – Paula Verboomen of HGA

Here are the at large elected directors:

  • David Meyers of MSOE
  • Ken Meschke of Affiliated Engineers
  • Jordan Komp of Thornton Tomasetti
  • Glenn Roby of Kahler Slater
  • Peter Schneider of GROTH Design Group
  • Emily Nelson of Grunau
  • Tim Jones of Mortenson
  • Bryce Unger of CG Schmidt
  • Fred Carvalho of Affiliated Engineers

Here is a list of emeritus and honorary directors:

  • Carol Post of Thornton Tomasetti
  • Paulette Dallas of the ACE Mentor Program
  • Martha Kelley Koenig of HGA
  • Nik Janik of HGA
  • Joe Good of Gilbane Building Co.

ACE hosted a Trades Day at the Wisconsin Center District in mid-October where high school students put on protective gear, interacted with tools of the trade and talked to craftspeople about career paths. The event was also an opportunity for construction trades professionals to dispel myths about the industry and talk about salary and fulfillment, organizers added.

Over 40 high school students talked to construction professionals for Trades Day at the Wisconsin Center District. (Photo courtesy of Gilbane)

Over 40 students attended the event in downtown Milwaukee and explored stations, including an electrical station, an HVAC station and a virtual reality station with views of a job site. Gilbane | Smith offered site tours of the Wisconsin Center building and sponsor Milwaukee Tool helped students try a range of power tools. Johnson Controls, Gilbane, Grunau, Lee Mechanical, Staff Electric, C.D. Smith, Michels and Building Advantage also sponsored the event.

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