Cathy Harrison, MMAC Membership Director
"If you’re reading this page, chances are you took the time to read some of the preceding articles. And if you did take the time to inform yourself on the critical issues of urban education, it’s probable that you care about that issue... and feel a sense of concern and perhaps responsibility.
By Paul Sweeney - Principal, PS Capital Partners & Chair of MMAC's Education Committee
If funding is the input and student performance is the output, then accountability is the balancing mechanism. MMAC supports a transparent and uniform measure of student accountability for all publicly funded students.
By Howard Fuller - Board member, Milwaukee Collegiate Academy
Milwaukee Collegiate Academy (MCA) is an independent charter high school on Milwaukee’s north side whose mission is to “nurture scholars capable of transforming their world by sending them to and through college.” This mission is both life-changing for MCA’s students and a necessity for the Milwaukee community.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY EDUCATION
By Thomas Schneider - Executive Director, COA Youth & Family Centers
Imagine building an 18-story office and starting construction on the 5th floor before the foundation. Unfortunately, far too many Milwaukee children start school at age 5 without the foundation.
Yet the first 5 years are critical and if we ignore this we shouldn’t be surprised by the results. Many Milwaukee children start school lacking the basic social, emotional and literacy skills needed to succeed long-term.
By Garrett Bucks - Executive Director, Teach For America - WI
By Dr. Darienne Driver, Ed.D. - Superintendent, Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee has long been a beacon for people seeking employment, innovation, culture and entertainment. For too long, however, many young people in our community have been disconnected from access to the life-changing opportunities our vibrant city presents.
As a school district, our responsibility is to work alongside dedicated partners to develop and execute a plan to change that dynamic. Our vision is to graduate students prepared to make Milwaukee the strongest version of itself, a place where all children become successful adults with access to employment, innovation, culture and entertainment.
EDUCATION: Leverage what's working, challenge what's not
It’s complicated. Milwaukee’s education system has seen many changes in the past 25 years – from the expansion of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and additions of charter schools to numerous changes in the superintendent leadership of Milwaukee Public Schools. Some of these have been effective, some have failed and for some, time will tell. But all these changes are set against a backdrop of extreme challenges.
On Thursday, October 13, MMAC's Council of Small Business held its monthly board meeting and addressed one of Milwaukee's most important yet challenging issues: transportation. Bill McCoshen, Executive Director of DRIVE, joined the COSBE board to discuss recent concerns and provide a legislative update. According to McCoshen, the three pillars of Wisconsin's economy are manufacturing, agriculture and tourism; all three of which depend on good, safe and reliable roads.
With such an extreme impact on the regional economy in terms of both growth and sustainability, the state needs to find a long-term, stable funding mechanism for its transportation needs. Over the next two years, Wisconsin will face a $939 million gap in transportation funding. And because Wisconsin has one of the lowest driving costs in the Midwest, policy makers are exploring various funding mechanisms to offset the budget deficit including: raising the gas tax, increasing vehicle registration fees and implementing a tolling system.
"This isn't just a transportation issue, this is fundamentally an economic issue. Twenty percent of all the jobs in the State of Wisconsin are located within two miles of the metro Milwaukee highway corridor. You cannot have that corridor deteriorating. It's more than an artery - it's the aorta of our economy here in Wisconsin." -Steve Baas, MMAC Senior Vice President.
Working to bring together leaders from all three of the pillars, McCoshen and the DRIVE organization are striving to find a bipartisan solution. It is not a matter of NOT solving Wisconsin's transportation issue, it is a matter of doing it once and doing it right.
Colbert Packaging Corp., a leading manufacturer of folding cartons, rigid setup boxes and paperboard specialty products, today unveiled plans to relocate its flexographic packaging operation and related warehousing services from northern Illinois to Kenosha - a project expected to bring about 100 jobs to Wisconsin.
"On behalf of the state of Wisconsin, I'm pleased to welcome Colbert Packaging to Wisconsin and I applaud the company for making this commitment to the state," said Governor Walker, who joined company officials in making the announcement today in Kenosha. "Businesses around the country recognize that the reforms we've enacted to create a positive business climate and strengthen the workforce are working. That's why Wisconsin ranks among the top choices for many companies seeking to relocate or expand their operations."
Colbert is acquiring a new 173,000-square-foot building on 16 acres in the Business Park of Kenosha, which is located less than one mile from I-94. Colbert currently operates its flexographic division and warehouse from facilities in Illinois less than half that size.
MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele today announced his SAVE Transit Plan to generate dedicated funding for transit, preserve the GO Pass, and invest in the future with Bus Rapid Transit.
The SAVE Transit Plan, a cornerstone of Abele’s forthcoming 2017 Proposed Budget, recognizes that our transit system must be Sustainable, Affordable, Visionary, and Efficient. The nonpartisan Public Policy Forum earlier this month released an analysis of the County’s transportation infrastructure needs, which detailed significant challenges ahead as state and federal funding for transportation continues to dwindle while costs continue to rise. The Public Policy Forum cited the replacement schedule for the County’s bus fleet as the “single biggest transportation infrastructure challenge” facing Milwaukee County. Of the County’s 436 buses, 30% have reached 500,000 revenue miles, which is the standard threshold for replacement.
By Steve Baas
Senior VP of Gov. Affairs, MMAC
On June 21, when the Great Lakes Compact Council unanimously approved the City of Waukesha’s request to borrow, use and return up to 8.2 million gallons of Lake Michigan water daily from the City of Oak Creek, it was the culmination of nearly a decade of work by MMAC and its regional partners.
By Todd McLees
Over the last three years, we have engaged more than a dozen business owners who were looking to exit their business in the near-term. Although financial goals at exit are usually pretty clear, the current baseline value is more nebulous - making identifying and prioritizing operational gaps necessary to avoid the disappointment of steep valuation discounts.
When selling your business or passing it on to the next generation, it’s critical to reduce disruption and maximize business value. Organizations executing at a higher level of process maturity are better equipped to do so.
By Dr. Robert Young
Partner, Humber Mundie & McClary LLP
Often the decision to appoint a family member to the role of CEO takes place in the absence of an objective assessment of leadership capabilities. Yet this process can be invaluable in the business transition.
By Wrede Smith
Attorney, DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C.
In my work as a business lawyer, I am often privileged to assist business owners seeking to transfer the ownership and management of their businesses to the next generation. Sometimes, with good planning, those transitions occur smoothly. Yet sometimes, despite good planning, the transition is a challenge, especially when there are multiple owners who are not involved in running the company.
By Timothy Stewart
Employee Benefits & ESOP Attorney, DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C.
Reviewing the myths and facts about Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) and family owned businesses
Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) can be an attractive way for family-owned businesses to sell their companies and for their employees to gain an ownership stake. ESOPs are qualified retirement plans that buy, hold and sell company stock for the benefit of employees. ESOPs are often dismissed by business owners (and sometimes their advisors) as a legitimate succession planning option due to the many unfounded misperceptions about them.
Milwaukee is headline news around the country, but not the type we want to see. The news of rioting and the images of businesses damaged and on fire (two of which are MMAC members) in the Sherman Park neighborhood are devastating. This situation is challenging to all of us working to make Milwaukee a great place to grow a business. It is also challenging to those in the community who feel disenfranchised.