GPS Education Partners held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 11 to mark the opening of its Central Milwaukee Education Center located at Capitol Stampings Corp. in Milwaukee.
The Butler-based nonprofit organization offers high school juniors and seniors a nontraditional education path that prepares them for manufacturing and technical careers through both classroom instruction and industry experience. Students attend academic classes at area manufacturing companies and spend a portion of each day working under mentors in a manufacturing setting. Each student typically has an opportunity to rotate among GPS’ business partners to gain exposure to a diversity of career options.
The Central Milwaukee Education Center, housed right at Capitol Stampings Corp.’s workspace, has been in operation since September. The program launched with a cohort of nine students, mostly juniors, who are associated with NOVA Tech, a Milwaukee Public Schools charter school that also opened in September. The school, located at 2433 W. Roosevelt Drive, is overseen by Milwaukee’s TransCenter for Youth Inc.
According to Andy Hepburn, program director at GPS Education Partners, the nonprofit sought a business site that would geographically complement NOVA Tech so that its students could explore manufacturing and technical trades. No other GPS center exists in the area.
Capitol Stampings Corp. is located at 2700 W. North Ave.
The Central Milwaukee Education Center’s inaugural cohort will continue their studies next year and will be joined by a second cohort of high school students.
GPS Education Partners now operates 16 sites across Wisconsin and serves more than 200 students.
Hepburn said the organization feels there are more opportunities to plant additional centers in the greater Milwaukee region, particularly in cities like Racine and Kenosha. However, no specific plans are in the works, he said.
“We’re always looking for new opportunities,” he said.