Milwaukee Public Schools equip students with practical professional skills

MILWAUKEE – At Milwaukee Public Schools, they give students a head start in developing business skills through hands-on experience.

There is nothing calm about what they call a classroom. The sound of metal cutting and tools slamming is typical. For students like Tarrell Houston, it’s a place to put books and pencils and pick up a hammer.

“I like it to be convenient,” Houston said.

At just 17 years old, Houston was learning skills that could well allow him to have a career. Today, he works the sheet which will eventually be transformed into an air duct.


Tarrell houston

The supervisor of the School-to-Work Transition ProgramStephanie O’Connor-Schutt believes this program gives students more options if they choose not to go to college.

“It’s actually a class for special education students, in one of our high schools, to gain experience and exposure to a variety of different professional skills and build on some of those essential soft skills that are needed, ”said O’Connor -Schutt.

The program began 30 years ago to teach students business skills that they can use after graduation to apply for jobs.

According to Job network, skilled jobs are in high demand and the wages aren’t bad either. A licensed electrician can earn $ 80,000 per year.

In Milwaukee, students can work directly with companies to earn class credit while learning skills.

“This program really meets each individual exactly where they are at, learns what their goals are, what their interests are, what their strengths are, and builds them to ultimately be the best version of themselves they can be.” said O. “Connor Schutt.

MPS uses 25 classrooms across the city for students to learn.

Larry Curry, a seasoned sheet metal worker, has worked on the site for almost 30 years. He has helped countless students learn and thrive in business careers. He started the MPS program when he was in high school.

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Larry curry

“For me, again, college was not the way to go, and here you learn by doing. It’s a different way of learning – you’re not stuck in a book all day. . I am a product of the program, ”says Curry.

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