Colleges and Universities Unite to Help Employers

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I’m honored that UWM is a founding member of the Higher Education Regional Alliance, or HERA. As members declared at our October public launch event, we know that meeting the diverse needs of employers in southeastern Wisconsin takes more than one college or university. HERA educational institutions are partnering with business and industry to better meet employers’ needs. We are in an era that requires employees to have advanced skill sets and technical capabilities. Education is the great equalizer, and working together, we’ll provide the leadership and results to move our region forward.

Best Regards,

Mark A. Mone, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Higher Education Regional Alliance Aims to
Reduce Talent Gaps, Fill Jobs, Close Achievement Gap

Leaders from 18 colleges and universities have pledged to work together toward closing achievement gaps and filling jobs in fast-growing and high-demand fields.

The Higher Education Regional Alliance, or HERA, is a collaboration among two- and four-year colleges and universities representing more than 150,000 students across southeastern Wisconsin. In addition to public and private higher education institutions, HERA includes 10 economic development and community partner organizations.

Leaders from its organizations and institutions began working together in 2018 and took the collaboration public last month during a HERA launch event. Over 250 community members and employers gathered at WE Energies in downtown Milwaukee to hear new strategies and commitments to prepare the workforce and improve quality of life in our region.

HERA members believe this can best be achieved through cooperation toward three specific goals: increasing college completion rates; aligning, evolving and innovating academic programs both within and across institutions; and expanding bridges between employers and students while also highlighting the value of living and working in the region.

“HERA is off to a great start,” said Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, a HERA partner. “It’s an exciting time to be in the greater Milwaukee region.”

In Wisconsin, 51% of adults age 25-64 have a workforce-relevant certificate or an associate degree or higher, according to research by the Lumina Foundation. HERA hopes to increase the state’s postsecondary attainment rate to 60% by 2027, driven by gains in southeastern Wisconsin.

Todd McLees, HERA Steering Committee member and founder of a Milwaukee-based management consulting firm, Pendio Group, noted the challenges before us. We are in the midst of an industrial revolution with rapid digitalization of production and manufacturing, and requiring the educational community’s assistance in guiding the business community through the necessary learning and development curves.

“It’s about reimagination,” McLees said, “and it’s incumbent upon all of us to maximize the productivity of the region.”

You can follow HERA’s progress at: