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MPS invests in trade, technical staff and facilities for students preparing for in-demand careers

The welding shop at Bradley Technology and Trade School has been upgraded.The country is facing a growing shortage of workers, acutely felt in skilled trades such as electrical, plumbing, and sheet metal work, as increasing numbers of workers reach retirement age. Milwaukee Public Schools is doing its part to help fill that gap, through courses and career pathways that prepare students for high-wage, highly skilled, in-demand careers.   

 Career and Technical Education (CTE), in the MPS Department of College and Career Readiness, develops and supports those courses and pathways. 

The 2020 referendum approved by Milwaukee voters provided the district with funding to expand arts, language, and physical education instruction, and it also made a difference in the lives of students preparing for trade and technical careers after high school.  

“We have been able to upgrade facilities and help with staffing, and we would like to continue to expand and strengthen career and technical education,” said Dr. John R. Hill, Director of College and Career Readiness. 

  Since 2020, the district has added seven educator positions in technical education and computer science and has been able to fund support staff, such as for the culinary arts program. The additional revenue since 2020 also partially funds the coordinator’s position for youth apprenticeships; the program has grown in the past year, with increasing numbers of students becoming apprentices.     

  Facilities for trade, technical and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) instruction have been modernized and expanded since 2020. Learning on up-to-date equipment and using new technology will better prepare MPS students for pursuing careers after high school.  Milwaukee High School of the Arts' Project Lead The Way lab was renovated.

Some of the improvements made since 2020 include:  

  • A refurbished automotive lab that now includes space for auto body work and a paint booth at Pulaski High School.  

  • The renovated main computer lab at Washington High School of Information Technology, which now includes a virtual reality area and some new technology.  

  • An updated weld shop at Bradley Technology and Trade School that can accommodate a new, larger plasma cutter. Besides improvements such as resized duct systems to meet air-quality requirements, the shop has new, modern equipment.  

  • A renovated Project Lead The Way lab at Milwaukee High School of the Arts, which offers engineering and design programs. Project Lead The Way is the nationally recognized program that provides hands-on learning in STEM fields.  

Project Lead The Way's lab at MHSA focuses on design and engineering programs.Looking ahead 

  In the 2024-25 fiscal year, MPS will improve more facilities for students where they can gain specialized skills as they prepare to enter the workforce. The district will:  

  • Upgrade two Project Lead The Way rooms at Marshall High School. The school offers engineering and biomedical science programs to its students.   

  • Build a new culinary arts lab with state-of-the-art stations and a classroom addition at Bay View High School.  

  • Renovate the CTE lab, including a new robotics workspace, and provide a broadcast studio with green screen at Audubon Technology and Communication Center.  


Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager
(414) 475-8675
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About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • Ninety-four percent of 2022-23 budget dollars go to support schools;
  • The MPS Class of 2023 earned $121 million in scholarships and grants; and
  • MPS is home to five of the state's top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report.

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