More than 1,000 MPS high school students converged on UWM on Wednesday for the 2019 MPS Student Job Fair in the Wisconsin Room of the Student Union.
Employers ranging from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to Rockwell Automation, from military recruiters to Milwaukee County, were in attendance to offer employment opportunities of part-time and full-time jobs.
“We hope to create an understanding of the world of work and give these students a chance to speak to employers,” said Vicki Turner, manager for the M³ initiative, which facilitated the event.
M³ is a multifaceted collaboration among UWM, MATC and MPS, which collectively serve more than 130,000 students. Among the initiative’s many goals: ensuring students have the necessary resources to advance to college and into the workforce.
The MPS students in attendance received work readiness training beforehand, where they practiced professional handshakes, discussed appropriate attire and body language, learned how to deliver 30-second elevator pitches and participated in mock interviews.
“We really want to support their future,” said Jean Salzer, director of the UWM Career Planning and Resource Center.
One of those students was Yosseline Reyes, a senior from Milwaukee’s South Division High School looking for opportunities in child education.
“I have a passion to teach kids,” Reyes said. “My college and career advisors have helped me work toward that, and I think I’d be really good at it.”
Staff Sgt. Anthony Davenport, a UWM alum and recruiter for the Wisconsin National Guard, was also on hand to share his experiences and how the National Guard has helped him in his own life.
“This is an awesome and great opportunity for these kids,” said Davenport. “I remember attending something like this when I was their age, and now I hope to share that this could be a great chance for them to do something positive in their own lives beyond high school.”
Other MPS students were excited for the potential employers that were in attendance.
“I’ve always wanted to be an engineer since I was a kid,” said Jaquan Landry, a senior at Project STAY. “I hope to find opportunities for me to pursue that dream while I am here.”
While some employers were offering long-term opportunities, many were in search of summer and part-time help, including Summerfest and the Milwaukee County Parks System.