Milwaukee Professionals Volunteer for Students’ Futures

Abriendo PuertasRepresentatives from local workforce to share professional communication lessons with participants of UCC’s Abriendo Puertas program

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN. (February 4, 2014) – More than fifteen volunteers from Milwaukee’s professional community will share their expertise in professional communication with participants of the United Community Center’s Abriendo Puertas program on Tuesday, February 11th at the Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union (1442 West Wisconsin Avenue, Ballroom AB) from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. The workshop is the third of four soft skills sessions that pair Hispanic and minority college students with professionals to strengthen Milwaukee’s future workforce, and the event will feature a keynote speech by Erica Gumieny, Interactive Account Manager at Journal Broadcast Group and owner of Pivotal Point Training.

Volunteers include representatives from organizations including Associated Banc-Corp Journey House, Milwaukee County Circuit Court,, Nicolet High School, Robert W. Baird & Co., United Performing Arts Fund, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and VJS Construction Services, Inc. These mentors serve as career coaches, sharing advice on successful communication strategies and practices for the workplace, from email and voicemail etiquette to interpersonal relationships with coworkers. Volunteer career coaches can provide real-life examples that will help students avoid common pitfalls and be better prepared to transition into the workplace.

Abriendo Puertas, which translates to “Opening Doors,” is a professional preparation and mentorship program for Hispanic and minority college students in Milwaukee that aims to expand the talent pool of the community’s future workforce through hands-on professional development workshops and mentoring. The upcoming workshop is the third installment of the soft skills series, which have included establishing a career path and personal advocacy and resilience. A fourth session centered on securing internships and job seeking skills will be offered in April.

The Abriendo Puertas program is made possible by a College Success grant in the amount of $195,208 from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation; this grant helps 100 undergraduate students achieve success in college by helping them develop campus connections to increase their odds of completing their programs of study. UCC was one of 28 organizations to receive some of the $4.5 million in College Success grant funds awarded by Great Lakes. Participating students are provided the counseling, mentoring, career development and professional connections they need to successfully complete their college education and secure careers. To help alleviate the extreme financial need of the students UCC serves and to improve their likelihood of graduating, Abriendo Puertas offers its students incentives for participation, such as book vouchers to their respective universities.

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