As many retail stores struggle, Sprint announced Monday it plans to add 38 stores in the Milwaukee metro area over the next two years.
About 40 percent of the stores will be traditional Sprint stores and the remaining will be Boost Mobile locations, which sell prepaid cell phones, Jim Mills, president of Sprint’s Illinois and Wisconsin market said in an interview Monday.
Most of the stores will be located in Milwaukee with some in the surrounding suburbs including Pleasant Prairie and Franklin, based on need, Mills said. As of right now, the Milwaukee market is under-served.
The new stores will add 200 new jobs by the end of 2018.
“Every month, we’re gaining on the competition and growing our base of customers, and we couldn’t be more excited,” Mills said. “With this significant growth, we knew we had to add more Sprint and Boost Mobile stores for both our postpaid and prepaid customers.”
Sprint served 59.7 million people nationwide as of March 31, 2017. Data usage by Sprint customers has increased more than 967 percent in the last five years in Milwaukee, according to the company.
The company also announced a partnership with the Milwaukee Public School District that will supply 2,800 students with a free smartphone, tablet or hotspot and free high-speed wireless service, at 25 schools.
The project, called 1Million Project is intended to close the “homework gap.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett praised the company for its gift, which begins with the 2017-2018 school year.
“With this exciting expansion and economic growth in our city, Sprint is providing Milwaukeeans with family-supporting jobs while enhancing the educational experience for the workforce of tomorrow,” Barrett said.
The participating MPS high schools are:
- Alliance School
- Audubon High School
- Bay View High School
- Bradley Tech
- Groppi High School
- Hamilton High School
- MacDowell Montessori
- Madison Academic High School
- Marshall High School
- Meir School
- Milwaukee High School of Arts
- Milwaukee School of Languages
- North High School
- Obama School of Career & Tech Ed
- Project Stay H High School
- Pulaski High School
- Reagan High School
- Riverside University High School
- Rufus King High School
- South Division High School
- Transition High School
- Vincent High School
- Washington High School
- Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning
“This program provides our students with the opportunity to learn anywhere and at any time, closing the digital divide with access to the internet and software helps students to achieve, inside and out of the classroom,"said Dr. Darienne Driver, MPS Superintendent. "Possibilities are broadened for students who may not have had access to technology, which is essential in a 21st Century learning community.”