Workforce Development Center in Pewaukee turns 20
Celebration highlights achievements, growth

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

June 14, 2015

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow addresses a group celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Workforce Development Center in Pewaukee Thursday morning.
Katherine Michalets/Freeman Staff

PEWAUKEE — When the Workforce Development Center in Pewaukee opened 20 years ago, Francisco Sanchez didn’t have a computer in his office, so he had to drive to Johnson Creek to send data to Madison. Now, the center offers classes on how to create a LinkedIn profile for job hunting and how to brand yourself online.

During a 20th anniversary celebration Thursday morning, Sanchez, president of the Waukesha-Ozaukee- Washington Workforce Development Board, gave special thanks to former County Executive Dan Finley and the late former Waukesha County Technical College President Richard T. Anderson, whom he described as visionaries.

The idea for the center arose after it was realized that there were services out there for job seekers, but they were scattered. Sanchez said it made sense to move them all under one roof, to benefit the customers.

Through the years, the Workforce Development Center has received grants to expand its computer labs and formed partnerships that have helped the center stretch its dollars. This has been vitally important as government funding has diminished, Sanchez said.

“We would not be able to do half of what we do without our partners and friends,” he said.

Michael Mallwitz, president of Busch Precision, right, discusses the help staff at the Workforce Development Center in Pewaukee gave him in creating a plan and hiring quality employees, including Gary Metke, second from the right, and Mike Park, second from the left. Deborah Bartmann, left, helped Mallwitz at the center.
Katherine Michalets/Freeman Staff

Mike Mallwitz, president of Busch Precision in Milwaukee, said the staff at the Workforce Development Center helped him to get high-quality employees, two of whom stood with him Thursday on the stage. He said he worked with Deborah Bartmann of the center to develop a plan.

Mallwitz said he is proud of the center and if a person can dream of something for themselves or a friend, they should come to the Workforce Development Center in Pewaukee.

Also speaking at the celebration were Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and newly elected County Executive Paul Farrow.

John Pritchett, youth services project specialist at the Workforce Development Center, said staff listens to clients and their stories no matter where they are in their lives and helps them.

While a lot has changed technology-wise at the center, Pritchett said “the thing that hasn’t changed is the focus on our customers.”

He said he wants to help people be the masters of their careers and not its victims.

Referencing the famous quote from Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” Pritchett said: “While we are employed here, we don’t work here.”