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Innovation & Talent

On GMC Way

Educational opportunity and professional development are crucial for our region's social and economic future.

Innovation, education, and attracting and retaining diverse talent are all keys to economic prosperity. We use the most innovative talent development strategies in real-time with educational and corporate partners, linking high school students to regional career options and creating an entrepreneurial learning environment with students, corporate partners, and startups. These efforts result in an innovative and diverse talent pool. Employers from small businesses to international corporations are able to increase their growth opportunities by attracting and retaining higher levels of talent to help guide the way. We are building a next generation of leaders to bring us closer to the vision of an equitable community.

We Commit to Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization

We serve a diverse population of talent that is reflective of those living in our region. By connecting talent to regional businesses, we create access and opportunity for all. Our programs attract diverse participant cohorts with 1:1 male to female and 1:1 white to BIPOC ratios. Student cohorts see an average of 30-35% first generation students. Black, brown, and first generation college students historically have not had access to the same professional networks as their peers, but through a strong business network and intentional connections, we ensure these students have equal access to career and leadership opportunities.

The Commons

The Commons creates an equitable space to connect talent with Milwaukee-area companies to build a career network. This level of inclusivity is achieved through curated relationships with over 60 community-based talent development partners and a strong connection with 24 higher education institutions. The Commons’ curriculum serves K-12 to C Suite talent through skills accelerators, internship programs, leadership development, and by creating a pipeline from talent to regional businesses.


Community-Based Talent Development Partners


Higher Education Institutions


Diverse Mentor Network

New for 2020

Forward 48

The Forward 48 leadership initiative, launched in 2020 by the Hoan Group and The Commons, focuses on connecting diverse, rising leaders in our community with established leaders. The program creates a robust and diverse civic leadership succession strategy through experiential learning, professional development, and exclusive networking opportunities.

The first cohort is 50% Black and brown participants.
50% of the 8 faculty members are people of color

"Forward 48 was just what I needed. They organized engaging conversations with local leaders, facilitated insightful discussions, and brought together some of the most thoughtful and compassionate people I have ever met. The diversity in thought was extremely refreshing. I look forward to continuing building relationships with everybody."

The Commons Virtual Internship Program

The Commons Virtual Internship Program partnered with the MKE Tech Hub Coalition to serve 120 students in summer 2020 as a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic impacting corporate internship opportunities. Participants developed digital innovation skills while increasing connectedness to the Milwaukee region.


Of Participants were Students of Color, 56% Women, and 30% First Generation Students


Of Participants Made a Key Connection to the MKE Business Community


Of Students Feel More Prepared for the Next Steps in their Career

“I am confident that this summer would be a great launchpad to future opportunities. I have made awesome connections and gained a lot of soft and some technical skills.”


FOR-M is an initiative of the Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition, powered by The Commons and We Pivot, to support and grow Milwaukee's tech startup ecosystem. Created in 2020, the free program is a community-based approach to offer tech startup founders the guidance, connections, and support to kickstart their new business concepts. A second cohort is scheduled for spring 2021.

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MKE United Chart