Business Alliance expands Schools2Skills program
Initiative aims to address workforce needs in health care

By Freeman Staff

Nov. 15, 2018

Students from Oconomowoc, Arrowhead, and Mukwonago high schools listen to Natalie Ebenhoch talk about her job as an oncology nurse navigator for ProHealth Care as part of the Schools2Skills Healthcare program.
Submitted photo

WAUKESHA — This school year, the Waukesha County Business Alliance is piloting two new Schools2Skills Healthcare tours with ProHealth Care in an attempt to expand the program and help educate future health care workers.

Schools2Skills started in 2011 to give area high school students the opportunity to tour local manufacturers and witness the advanced technology and innovation being used in southeast Wisconsin. The program, which now also provides opportunities for middle school students, shows young people the kinds of careers available in the industry right now.

The first of the new health care related Schools2Skills tours happened at the end of October with 45 students from Oconomowoc, Arrowhead and Mukwonago high schools visiting ProHealth Care’s UW Cancer Center. They learned about careers in nursing, pharmacy, imaging, physical therapy and more.

Professionals in those fields talked to students about why they chose their career, what their job duties include and how students can get started in the industry now. The high schoolers were able to ask the professionals questions to learn more about jobs in health care.

“Expanding Schools2Skills to encompass additional industries beyond manufacturing has been an important part of our workforce development strategy,” said Suzanne Kelley, president and CEO of the Waukesha County Business Alliance. “With the unemployment rate in Waukesha County at record lows, all industries and positions are in need of employees.”

The Business Alliance is also expanding its Schools2Skills Manufacturing tours. Twenty-six tours, a record number of tours in one school year, will be hosted, while focusing on areas like food and beverage manufacturing, business and marketing, and more. Middle school students are also being given the opportunity to participate in the tour program.

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