Building Advantage News

Arena Construction Provides Learning Opportunities for Students

December 29, 2017
By: Anna Molinaro

It seems like just yesterday that the Bucks broke ground on their new, state-of-the-art arena. Now 70% complete, it has transformed the Milwaukee Skyline. The Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center has been an impressive project to watch take shape, with nearly 800 trades workers on site at the peak of the project. Among these 800 you will find 18 students also engaged in the project. While not onsite each day, they are an important part of this project and the future of the construction industry.

At the start of the 2017-2018 fall semester, 18 eager upperclassmen from Bradley Tech High School laced up their work boots and boarded a bus to the jobsite. The field trip, part of a long-term career exploration program, TechTerns, is more than just a jobsite tour. With multiple site visits scheduled throughout the school year, students get an in-depth look into careers in architecture, engineering, construction, and even sports management. During each session, they work closely with trade professionals, architects, engineers, project managers, owners, etc. “The TechTerns program is invaluable to students and essential to our skilled-labor shortage efforts,” said Bridget Kraus, Marketing Director, for Mortenson Construction. “Our goal is to expose the TechTerns to as many career paths as we can, help them identify their interests, and guide them in what it takes to be successful.”

Each visit consists of hands-on activities related to the work underway on the project, a guest speaker(s), and a jobsite tour. Equally as impressive as the programming itself, is the fact that this is the third edition of TechTerns. Another program is currently underway on a Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin project. More than 60 students have now had the opportunity to participate in a TechTerns program during their high school career. In addition, this program has inspired other construction contractors to offer similar programming to area high school students.

“The Bucks are grateful for MPS’ commitment to allowing these students to spend a full day immersed on our project site throughout the school year. We have seen first-hand how interest from the students can be translated into future career goals,” said Alicia Dupies, Vice President Social Responsibility, for the Milwaukee Bucks. “This is a true partnership and without the commitment of Mortenson and EUA, the students would not be exposed to the hands-on activities of their professions.”

The TechTerns program on the Arena project is made possible by the Milwaukee Bucks, Mortenson Construction, and Eppstein Uhen Architects.