As Associated Bank nears completion of the redevelopment of the RiverCenter building in downtown Milwaukee, it has officially opened the Associated Bank Center for Professional Development on the third floor.
The goal of the Center for Professional Development is to foster advancement toward a more diverse and inclusive city. The center is partnering with ALIVE Milwaukee, an organization that helps young people in business, the arts, professional development and educational attainment learn the skills they need to be successful. Through this partnership, the center will house and support several local nonprofits and community initiatives.
“Associated Bank is resolutely committed to fostering advancement toward a diverse and involved Milwaukee,” said John Utz, Milwaukee area president at Associated Bank. “We are proud to contribute to the growth of the MKE Fellows and further the vision of equity and financial empowerment for our community we see in these emerging young leaders. We join the many committed partners of this remarkable initiative who share the same vision of a diverse, prosperous, financially-educated Milwaukee, empowered through this phenomenal game-changing program.”
Four programs are currently housed in the center. First are the MKE Fellows, a program offering support to young African American men who have shown success in their academic work. The program aims to make sure these young men graduate from college and are prepared for careers.
Second is One MKE, a group of inter-generational, multi-ethnic professionals in Milwaukee. The mission of One MKE is to transform leadership and relationships to foster and retain a diverse pipeline of talent and improve cultural competence within the city.
Third is Sow & Grow, an initiative to bring health and urban gardens to emerging communities. The final organization currently housed in the Center for Professional Development is STEAM Open, an ALIVE Milwaukee initiative that encourages student participation in science, tech, engineering, arts and math events.
The Center for Professional Development features several dedicated spaces to support the work of these four organizations. In addition to a traditional conference space, there’s a MKE Fellows closet and haberdashery for presentation and consultation on dressing professionally; interview booths where program participants can learn effective communication; and educational, youth and professional development spaces with multimedia equipment.
Green Bay-based Associated purchased the 28-story Milwaukee Center building, at 111 E. Kilbourn Ave., in 2016. It renamed the building the Associated Bank RiverCenter.