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Collab Lab 14: Effective Partnerships for Career Based Learning Experiences

Thursday November 16, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

What makes for an effective Career Based Learning Experience? What structural issues get in the way of creating those opportunities for students?

In our conversations with educators we’ve heard a number of concerns around the ability to create effective CBLEs for students:

  • Identifying mentors/experts for student projects that also know how to work with students
  • Finding appropriate intern/apprenticeship opportunities that align with student schedules
  • Identifying opportunities for students to work with area business and organizations on real world problems at an appropriate level and scope
  • Developing a network of connections that can help students follow a path of their choosing

Our aim in this Collab Lab is to build a clear understanding of structural problems around CBLEs that collaborative efforts could help resolve. To that end, we’ll work together to:

  • Define ‘worthwhile experiences’
  • Discover/inventory structural issues impacting stakeholder effective participation
  • Walk through a model for effective collaboration

Come share ideas with your colleagues at public, private, and charter schools from across greater Milwaukee, as well as some folks outside of K12 who offer an interesting perspective on the topic.


5:30 – 6:00 Grab something to eat and drink, say hello

6:00 – 8:30 Let’s learn from each other

Food and beverage will be provided. There is no charge for participation but space is limited!


Featured Participants

Among others, you’ll have a chance to talk with:


Susan Koehn, Director of the Milwaukee7 Regional Talent Partnership

Susan Koehn is Director of the Milwaukee7 Regional Talent Partnership, which connects employers in Southeast Wisconsin with the right talent supply chain partners to fuel business growth. Susan served as Innovation Fund manager for the Milwaukee7 region’s WIRED Initiative in 2008-09. Through the Department of Labor’s WIRED Initiative, regions integrated economic and workforce development activities to demonstrate that talent can drive economic transformation. From there, Susan moved into a role with the Southeast WI Workforce Development Board, coordinating Workforce Development Board activities in Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth Counties, before returning to Milwaukee7 and the work of regional economic and workforce alignment. Under Susan’s leadership, Milwaukee7 launched the GROW HERE Campaign, an effort to develop and retain young people in Southeast Wisconsin and fuel the critical talent needs of industry. She enjoys working with local partners to connect employers to their future talent pipeline and scale opportunities for career-based learning across the region.

Stacey Duchrow, Business & Education Partnerships Manager — Milwaukee7 Regional Talent Partnership

Stacy most recently served as STEM and District Assessment Coordinator for Union Grove School District in Racine County. There, she launched Union Grove’s first Career Academies – three STEM pathways in Biomedical, IT, and Manufacturing/Engineering including dual credit and work-based learning experiences. Stacey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology and spent 5 years at Abbott Labs as a Senior Quality Technician before seeking licensure as a teacher and an eventual Master of Educational Leadership Degree from Carthage College. She taught Biology and Physics in Kenosha Unified School District and was selected in 2010 as 1st runner up – Kenosha County Teacher of the Year.


Allan Erickson, Curriculum Specialist – Career and Technical Education — Milwaukee Public Schools

Al Erickson has been the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Curriculum Specialist in the Department of College and Career Readiness at Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) for almost two years. Prior to joining MPS in 2016, he was a civil and environmental engineer for 32 years. After (finally) graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1980’s, Al joined CH2M HILL (a civil and environmental engineering consulting firm) where he worked on infrastructure improvement and environmental cleanup projects for clients across the United States. In his various roles over that portion of his career he enjoyed the opportunity to help society through projects to make water cleaner, transportation safer, and the environment healthier. As an engineer based in Milwaukee, he had the pleasure of working as a team member on a number of local projects including removal of contaminated sediments from Milwaukee’s Rivers, redesign and construction of Milwaukee’s freeway interchanges, and construction of Milwaukee’s deep tunnels and wastewater treatment plant improvements.

In his role with MPS since January 2016, Al currently supports CTE teachers and encourages them to engage students in more career based learning experiences. His perspective on this issue is somewhat different than his colleagues because while with CH2M HILL he hosted a Wisconsin Youth Apprentice, conducted multiple in-school and in-office career based learning experiences for students (presentations and job shadows). He also led two professional development Job Shadow sessions for MPS teachers to help them understand what civil engineers do.


DeAnna Leitzke, Milwaukee School of Engineering

DeAnna is a professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering where she also serves as Chair for Servant-Leadership. In her role as chair, she provides students with opportunities to engage the community by leading service-learning projects throughout the Greater Milwaukee Area and beyond.



Laura Schmidt, Strategic Advisor to the Superintendent – School District of New Berlin

Laura has an MBA (Leadership Studies) from Marquette University. She worked for 15 years for Northwestern Mutual and was responsible for enterprise software, usability testing, and technology research.  She served as the Executive Director of an Education Foundation for 4 years before joining the School District of New Berlin as a consultant.  She represents the Superintendent in local, regional and state efforts designed to support a strong talent pipeline for the benefit of students as well as the state’s economy. She holds a Scaled Agilist certification to inform strategic planning and implementation efforts.


Thursday November 16, 2017
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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Learn Deep


Ward 4
313 Plankinton Ave
Milwaukee, WI United States
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2023-24 Collab Labs

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