Career Discovery programs connect Valley businesses to students as they are charting their career paths. Since 2012, Menomonee Valley Partners has partnered with Milwaukee Public Schools to connect area high school students studying manufacturing and engineering to tours of advanced manufacturers, engineering firms, and mechanical contractors. Annually, over 300 students participate in Career Discovery programs.

The Career Discovery Initiative:

  • helps students connect in-class learning to careers

  • supports teachers and schools with access to career-oriented experiences

  • builds awareness of Valley jobs and develops a workforce/career pipeline

  • highlights women and people of color working at Valley companies


Students asked, “How do I get to work here someday?” after meeting employees, talking about their careers, and seeing products made in these manufacturing facilities.

career days

Valley businesses are industry and global leaders seeking unique collaborations to improve their visibility to the next generation of talent. These diverse programs make a significant impact on students. Students experience the shop floors, speak with employees of all levels, begin to comprehend career ladders, and learn directly from employees about their pathways to the careers they are in today, including engineering, manufacturing, and construction.


engineering career days

Students learn just how expansive the world of engineering is by meeting engineers from various industries on company tours. Schools are paired with businesses depending on their current areas of study. Within the Valley, you can find mechanical, chemical, civil, and electrical engineers.


manufacturing career days

An overarching manufacturing experience showcases the wide variety of career pathways found in a manufacturing setting. The tour debunks the myth that manufacturing is dirty, dark, and dangerous. Students learn that not all manufacturing environments are the same as they experience behind-the-scenes tours of some of Milwaukee’s largest manufacturers. This tour provides context to the skills the students are learning in their Introduction to Manufacturing coursework.


construction and trades tours

Students learn about career pathways to apprenticeships, union opportunities, and what employers seek in a skilled workforce. Tours expose local youth to careers that build upon their area of study in the construction trades.

In 2018, Bay View High School students toured JF Ahern and JM Brennan to learn about career pathways to apprenticeships, union opportunities, and what employers seek in a skilled workforce. Tours expose local youth to good paying careers associated with their area of study.

It’s my dream to work here, in the Valley. My father and I research the companies down here all the time.
— Student from Bradley Tech

programming for young women

The Young Women programs expose high school girls to Valley careers and mentors with the goal to replace fear and uncertainty of manufacturing and engineering careers with the confidence and guidance to break down barriers and pursue big dreams. Students meet with women working in the Valley in traditionally male-dominated careers (chemists, plumbers, industrial designers, engineers, project managers, and more) to learn about their career journeys and ask for advice from their newfound mentors.

young women in stem


young women in ENGINEERING

1. Compressed Young Women in STEM_2016 (144).jpg

valley lunch & learns

In 2018, we partnered with Journey House’s Career Readiness Program to pair young adults with mentors so they could gain awareness of paths to meaningful careers. The goal is to engage both young people and Valley employees in making the route to careers easier to navigate. One participant even went home and encouraged his brother to apply to Mitchell Furniture Systems on St. Paul Avenue, where he is working today.


IT Service Learning

Students from local high schools partnered with IT professionals for a week, learning and creating projects about what they learned to share with their classmates.