MILWAUKEE -- The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) released the following statement from Andrew Davis, Vice President of Government Affairs for MMAC regarding Gov. Evers plan to keep the MLB in Milwaukee:
“MMAC helped lead the effort to pass legislation and secure the follow-on funding to build (then) Miller Park. Our goal was to sustain the asset of Major League Baseball for greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin. That success has led to twenty plus years of marquee publicity, fan enjoyment, and economic impact. We appreciate the Governor’s leadership to find a path forward to extend the current lease until 2043. We look forward to working with the Legislature and Governor as this proposal takes shape.”
Andrew Davis - VP, Government Affairs for MMAC
View the Governor's press release: Gov. Evers Announces Plan to Keep Major League Baseball, Brewers in Milwaukee for 20 More Years >
Employers committed to making Milwaukee a Region of Choice for diverse talent remain on track to reach goals
MMAC coalition of companies significantly outpaces metro average for diverse hiring
MILWAUKEE – A group of 125-plus Milwaukee Region employers engaged in the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) Region of Choice consortium remain on track to meet five-year goals for recruiting, retaining and advancing Black and Brown employees – and are significantly outpacing the overall region’s rate of diverse hiring.
Since launching the Region of Choice (ROC) initiative in 2019, MMAC has tracked the progress of the 125-plus companies and organizations representing a total of 127,000 employees that have committed to making Milwaukee a Region of Choice for diverse talent by increasing the percentages of Black and Brown employees (by 15% over five years) and managers (by 25% over five years) at those firms. Companies involved in ROC also meet regularly to identify trends and share best practices.
Companies reported their employment data for 2021 in October, and the aggregate data show that the ROC companies are on pace to meet or have already met goals for an increase in the percentage of Black and Brown hiring in overall employment and for management positions. Companies participating in this consortium also are hiring employees from diverse backgrounds at a rate well ahead of the larger group of Milwaukee Region firms that report their diverse hiring data to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC.)
For overall employment, the ROC companies’ goal is 15% growth in Black and Brown talent, expressed as a percentage of overall employment, over five years and using 2018 as the baseline year. Through 2021, the ROC companies had 12.3% growth in Black and Brown talent as a percentage of overall employment.
The ROC consortium’s growth of 12.3% significantly outpaced the 1.7% growth in diverse hiring for all metro employers reporting EEOC data through 2020. All companies with more than 50 employees must report demographics of their workforce and in management positions.
For management-level employees, the ROC goal is 25% growth in Black and Brown representation in management, expressed as a percentage of overall management over five years. Again, we are measuring this growth is over the 2018 baseline. Through 2021, the ROC companies had 26% growth in Black and Brown management as a percentage of overall management – meaning that companies met their five-year goal in this area ahead of schedule, and hope to exceed it.
This 26% growth in management-level representation compares to 6% growth for all metro Milwaukee employers reporting EEOC data for the same period through 2020.
“This year’s data confirm a trend toward greater representation,” said Cathy Jacobson, MMAC Chair and President and CEO of Froedtert Health. “Increasing overall employment and management positions for Black and Brown individuals is critical to closing economic prosperity gaps in the Milwaukee region, while strengthening the performance of our organizations.”
While the data is trending in the right direction, MMAC Vice President of Community Affairs Corry Joe Biddle emphasized that there is much more work to do – both in our workplaces and in our communities – to create sustainable change for people of color in Milwaukee.
“Companies and talent acknowledge that hiring is only the beginning of an employee’s lifecycle,” Biddle said. “Attention must be paid to retention, development and advancement in order for more Black and Brown individuals to rise to positions of leadership. Otherwise, we will always have the situation where a person of color is the ‘only’ in the room.”
MMAC convenes representatives from the ROC companies and the community to share and discuss strategies aimed at all of the above. “One company does not have all the answers, but among our 125-plus companies, there are a lot of great ideas, programs and playbooks,” Biddle said.
MMAC holds regular programs, both online and in person, for company leaders to learn from peers and subject matter experts. Additional resources can be found on www.regionofchoicemke.org
CEOs who signed the pledge are asked to annually share progress and challenges.
“I am encouraged by the progress companies in the ROC consortium are making, knowing that there is still much work to do” said Jonas Prising, president and CEO of ManpowerGroup and former MMAC Chair. “When we committed to this strategy four years ago, we hoped it would be a catalyst for change. As we look forward, we need to accelerate the momentum and ultimately close the prosperity and opportunity gaps for people of color.”
According to the Harvard Business Review, it is vitally important for companies to not just track demographic outcomes, but to examine process metrics, “which can pinpoint problems such as hiring, evaluation, and executive sponsorship … process metrics will tell you where to focus your attention to bring about meaningful change.”
“Everyone describes the DEI process as a journey,” MMAC President Tim Sheehy said. “As a business community and as a region, we need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
MILWAUKEE -- The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) released the following statement from President Tim Sheehy upon the retirement of state Senator Alberta Darling (R – River Hills):
“I want to congratulate Senator Darling on such an impactful 32 years of public service for the people of Wisconsin and especially Milwaukee. The Wisconsin state legislature is losing a true leader and the community is losing one of its strongest pro-Milwaukee advocates. As one of the original authors of the nation’s first school choice program, her legacy will carry on and her impact will be felt for many more decades to come. She always fought for children and empowered parents. She consistently advocated for her constituents and led on so many issues that bettered the lives of so many. Alberta will be greatly missed and we congratulate her on a well-earned retirement.”
In the November edition of MMAC's Business of Metro MKE webinar, we heard from Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman and Medical College of Wisconsin President and CEO Dr. John Raymond. A replay of this webinar will be available on MMAC's YouTube channel.
To download a copy of Dr. Raymond's presentation, click below:
MMAC is launching a search for a Senior Vice President, a newly created position that will play a critical role in the organization’s long-term leadership. MMAC Chair Cathy Jacobson, president and CEO of Froedtert Health, announced the formation of a board committee to oversee recruitment for the new position on Tuesday.
“As MMAC Board members, we recognize the importance of leadership continuity, and it is our responsibility to ensure the organization is prepared to carry forward its critical mission,” Jacobson said. “Our current President, Tim Sheehy, has served admirably in his role for 30 years and continues to serve as a strong advocate for our business community today. While no change in MMAC’s leadership is imminent, it is prudent to begin planning now for when that day inevitably comes.”
The search committee will be chaired by Austin Ramirez, President and CEO of Husco, and includes Gale Klappa, Executive Chairman of WEC Energy Group; Jonas Prising, Chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup; Cory Nettles, Founder and Managing Director of Generation Growth Capital; and Jacobson.
The ideal candidate will be experienced in strategic goal setting, public policy, communications and organizational leadership, and will have a strong understanding of community and economic development.
“MMAC’s mission is to foster a region with a globally competitive economy that supports high-value jobs to sustain a vibrant quality of life for all,” Jacobson said. “The Association has a 161-year track record of delivering on that mission, serving our members, and maintaining a position of leadership in our community. To ensure that MMAC is best positioned to continue meeting these responsibilities while addressing new challenges and opportunities in the future, we will find the best SVP candidate to serve our members and advance our goals.”
MMAC has engaged Spano Pratt, a national executive search firm that specializes in recruiting CEOs and senior leaders for nonprofit organizations and foundations, to identify a group of candidates with a diverse set of backgrounds and experience and assist with other aspects of the search.
“On behalf of Milwaukee’s business community, we are proud to welcome the Republican National Convention to Milwaukee in 2024. The Republican National Committee’s decision to bring its convention to Milwaukee represents yet another step forward for our region as an internationally recognized destination with the people, vibrant entertainment venues, infrastructure and expertise it takes to successfully host large-scale events.
We congratulate the team at VISIT Milwaukee for their leadership in securing this opportunity. It is remarkable for an American city to secure two straight major party nominating conventions – a ringing endorsement for everything Milwaukee has to offer.
This convention will directly benefit Milwaukee businesses and their employees. Beyond that, this is yet another chance for Milwaukee to shine in an international spotlight. And there are few events larger in scale, visibility and impact than a national political convention.
Our approach to this event is exactly the same as it was for pursuing the 2020 Democratic National Convention: Instead of red or blue, we represent green – the color of additional millions of dollars that will now flow into Milwaukee.
Throughout the bidding process for this convention, we heard that strong bipartisan support was one of the most compelling aspects of our bid. We thank Mayor Cavalier Johnson, County Executive David Crowley and many other officials for putting aside potential partisan disagreements in the name of doing what’s best for our region. That’s leadership. If we can come together to do this, the possibilities of what can we accomplish together are endless.”
-- MMAC President Tim Sheehy
MMAC President Tim Sheehy on a significant step forward for Milwaukee's 2024 Republican National Convention bid
Milwaukee's bid to host the 2024 Republican National Convention got a significant boost when an RNC site selection committee voted to move forward with Milwaukee. Here's perspective from MMAC President Tim Sheehy:
“We’re proud of today’s significant step forward toward welcoming the Republican National Convention to Milwaukee in 2024. While this decision still must be ratified by party officials, we thank the RNC's Site Selection Committee for voting to recommend Milwaukee as the best choice to move forward with for this event.
This represents yet another remarkable opportunity for the Milwaukee Region, our businesses and our community. The direct economic impact of hosting this convention will be a vital jump start for Milwaukee businesses and their employees, after being hit so hard by the pandemic and ensuing supply chain, labor shortage and inflation issues. And there may be even greater value in the opportunity for Milwaukee to once again shine in an international spotlight. Remember that every large-scale event we execute successfully helps us make the case for hosting even more big events in the future. And there are few events larger in scale, visibility and impact than a national political convention.
We would not have made it to this point without hard work and strong bipartisan support. We thank everyone, from both sides of the political aisle and everywhere in between, for doing the work it took to get us here. We’re proud to support VISIT Milwaukee, Mayor Cavalier Johnson, County Executive David Crowley and so many others who led the effort to bring home what is shaping up as a big win for ‘Team Milwaukee.’
For MMAC and our business community, our approach to this event is exactly the same as it was for pursuing the 2020 Democratic National Convention: It’s not about red or blue, but rather green – the color of dollars that will flow into Milwaukee when we secure this convention.”
MMAC President Tim Sheehy on WEC Energy Group's new timeline for Oak Creek plant retirements
Context: Today, We Energies announced a new timeline for Oak Creek plant retirements
STATEMENT FROM MMAC PRESIDENT TIM SHEEHY
“Reliable access to power is one of the most important factors in the stability of a region and its economy, and WEC Energy Group consistently delivers on this responsibility. MMAC supports WEC Energy Group as it takes strategic steps to ensure continued reliability amid shifting supply chain and regulatory conditions. While still working toward its important and ambitious renewable energy goals, this step to delay the phase out is prudent and responsive to concerns about reliability.”
The June edition of our monthly Business of Metro MKE webinar features Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Dr. John Raymond, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin. A replay of the webinar will be available on MMAC's YouTube channel shortly after it concludes.
See below to download Dr. Raymond's presentation:
Click here to download the presentation from our event:
And click here to view our group invitation list:
MMAC’s Deblitz Graduates from U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Education and Workforce Fellowship Program
Fellowship provided state and local chambers with opportunities to engage nationally on critical education and workforce issues.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced that Alexis Deblitz, Director of Talent & Industry Partnerships for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and Milwaukee 7 Regional Partnership, graduated from its premier business leadership program. The Business Leads Fellowship Program trains and equips leaders from state and local chambers of commerce, economic development agencies, and statewide trade associations with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.
Originally selected in February 2020 following a competitive application and selection process, Deblitz graduates with 25 other state and local business leaders from the program’s fourth cohort. The yearlong virtual program covered the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education, and workforce development, and culminated with a recent in-person meeting in Palm Springs, California.
Susan Koehn, Vice President of Talent and Industry Partnerships for MMAC and M7, also graduated from the fellowship program in 2019 and the U.S. Chamber's Talent Pipeline Management Academy in 2017. Talent Pipeline Management is a new way of addressing local skills gaps by positioning employers in a more central role as end-customers of postsecondary education and training providers.
"The training we received through the Business Leads Fellowship and Talent Pipeline Academy will allow MMAC's Talent & Industry Partnerships team to better serve member employers' current and future talent strategies with leading-edge practices, supported by a peer network across the U.S.," Koehn said.
Added Cheryl Oldham, Senior Vice President of the Center for Education and Workforce: “As clearly displayed throughout this program, state and local leaders know better than anyone the critical link between education and economic development. Not only did the Fellows gain a network of peers and experts in the field, but the program is also designed to help these leaders find opportunities to develop initiatives that will continue to advance the growth of their local economy and put education policy into practice.”
Upon program completion, Business Leads Fellows join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 220 individuals from chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the country who regularly engage on the most impactful education and workforce initiatives.
To learn more about the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Business Leads Fellowship Program, visit businessleads.uschamberfoundation.org.
Download a presentation from the April edition of MMAC's Business of Metro MKE webinar. A replay of the event will be available on MMAC's YouTube Channel later in the day.
Dr. Raymond's slides:
Presentation from Tim Sheehy, Susan Koehn and John Swallow:
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) are partnering with the Brewers Community Foundation (BCF) to host a career experience day at American Family Field on Thursday, April 7.
This event will bring approximately 300 10th graders from seven MPS schools to the ballpark, where they will have the chance to interact with professionals who work in a wide variety of careers connected to the Brewers organization and the local companies that serve as its suppliers.
Media are welcome to cover this event, and should contact MMAC Director of Communications Chris Jenkins in advance for details.
The program will focus on careers in high-demand industries -- including Advanced Manufacturing, Technology, Business/Finance, Construction and Patient Care -- and how professionals working in each of those careers support the Brewers, one of our region’s most recognizable businesses.
By 2025, the Milwaukee Region is projected to have more than 450,000 jobs within these five industry clusters, offering an average annual wage of $60,000. The program will highlight careers within each cluster that offer opportunities to learn new skills and advance on a career pathway.
“As one of our region’s most iconic brands, the Milwaukee Brewers are uniquely positioned to highlight the variety of attractive career opportunities that exist here in the Milwaukee Region,” MMAC President Tim Sheehy said. “We often think of the Brewers as a team on the field, but there’s a much larger ‘team behind the team’ that makes it all possible – and within that team, there are many high quality, high demand careers. Connecting students with career-based learning experiences has been a longstanding MMAC priority, and we’re happy to have the opportunity to do so in person again.”
Launched in 2014, MMAC’s Be the Spark program connected nearly 15,000 MPS seventh graders to local businesses for in-person career experiences with the support of more than 125 business partners. The program introduced students to potential future careers and the skills they need to succeed. Career experiences are a part of MMAC efforts to develop our region’s future workforce and talent pipeline. MMAC efforts also include support for the region’s 70-plus school districts and convening industry groups to connect to K-12 education institutions and provide feedback loops that incorporate future skills demands into career pathways.
About the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
For more than 150 years, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce has been serving area businesses as a private, not-for-profit organization. Today we represent approximately 1,800 member businesses with 300,000 employees in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties and beyond. Our mission is to improve metro Milwaukee as a place to invest capital, grow business and create jobs. mmac.org
If your company is already a member of MMAC, thank you for your investment in growing your business and building the Milwaukee Region. If your company is not yet a member, but is interested in exploring the benefits of joining, please contact our membership team.
STATEMENT FROM MMAC PRESIDENT TIM SHEEHY
"Michael Cudahy was Milwaukee’s entrepreneur. His positive impact on our region will be felt for decades to come because of the influence he had on so many people here, myself included. Marquette Medical Systems was a longtime MMAC member, and its legacy lives on today in the success of GE Healthcare. Throughout our interactions over the years, I saw firsthand how Michael’s sprit of curiosity drove him to learn more about big-picture economic development issues and how they affect Milwaukee. He was always looking for ways to improve our region. He will be missed greatly, and we send our deepest condolences to his family."
STATEMENT FROM MMAC PRESIDENT TIM SHEEHY
"Former State Representative, State Senator and Lieutenant Governor Margaret Farrow was instrumental in a number of legislative and policy wins that have had a deep and lasting impact on the prosperity of this region. Having worked with then-Senator Farrow, I can personally attest to her thoughtful insight and determination, both of which were instrumental to the passage of legislation providing low-income parents the opportunity to choose where their children attended school, both through the Milwaukee Parental Choice program and independent charter schools.
Senator Farrow had the respect of her colleagues, the ability to work across the aisle, and was focused on outcomes, never credit.
She should also be recognized for her role in helping to make Miller Park, now American Family Field, a reality for millions of baseball fans across Wisconsin, securing an asset that will long be of value to this community."
In the March edition of our monthly Business of Metro MKE webinar, we featured insights on the economy from Don Rissmiller, the Chief Economist for Strategas, the market strategy arm of Baird. We also received our regular update from Dr. John Raymond, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin. A replay of the event is available on MMAC's YouTube channel.
Also, you can download copies of presentations from the webinar here:
Student success is critical to the future of our region. MMAC joins other Milwaukee leaders in advocating for state surplus tax resources in future state biennial budgets to increase per pupil funding. This is one of the few existing ways to support all students in the city, whether they’re in a traditional MPS, public charter or choice school.
Read the full text of a letter to Governor Evers, Speaker Vos and Majority Leader LeMahieu:
Download a copy of the slide deck from the Feb. 8 edition of MMAC's monthly Business of Metro MKE webinar series below. In this episode, Tim Sheehy was joined by Dr. John Raymond, Dr. Julie Biller and Dr. Jon Lehrmann of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
A replay of this webinar will be available on MMAC's YouTube channel.
If you're not already registered for the series, registration is free and open to the community. Click here to register.
As employers search for the best ways to attract and retain talent in the midst of one
of the fiercest talents wars yet, compensation is now front and center.
How is that playing out in our market? Read the findings from a new survey from MMAC member company MRA. Key takeaways include:
Read the full report: