UWM-partnered program to boost minority development adds 20 grads

Since 2005, Associates in Commercial Real Estate, or ACRE, has been working to expand minority representation in the commercial real estate fields of development, property management, and construction management. This June, the program added 20 participants to its growing cadre of alumni.

Students and teachers pose for a photo.
The 2017 ACRE graduating class and partners

Carolyn Esswein, director of Community Design Solutions and an urban studies professor of practice in UWM’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning, has been an instructor with the program since 2014, outlining the process she follows for neighborhood development projects.  At the end of this year, Community Design Solutions assisted ACRE teams by providing renderings of their redevelopment proposals.

Esswein, who has also served as a member of the ACRE advisory board, says the program has had a significant impact.

Carolyn Esswein

“The program has been successful in its education mission,” she said, “but at least as important is the network that has evolved. Students have access to successful developers in the city and region, so that offers new opportunities for collaboration.

“Four alderpersons have gone through, developers have come through,” Esswein added. “And in fact alumni are now coming back as instructors.”

ACRE is administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, LISC Milwaukee, in partnership with Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“It’s good that UWM is at the table,” Esswein said.

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