Ascendium’s $1.5M donation brings BGCDC’s McKenzie Regional Workforce Center closer to its $35M goal


    Conceived by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County and the Madison Area Builders Association, the McKenzie Regional Workforce Center will aim to train and connect a new generation of young people to the skilled trades. On Wednesday, Ascendium announced that it was giving $1.5 million to the project that is slated to open this summer.

    “Ascendium’s philanthropic mission focuses on how transformative education and training beyond high school can be in the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds,” said Brett Lindquist, Ascendium’s vice president – strategic communications, in a statement. “We are working on these issues at a national level, and it’s wonderful to support innovative and effective initiatives in our own backyard.”

    With Ascendium’s donation, the McKenzie Regional Workforce Center is now $4.9 million away from its $35 million goal. One of the Center’s goals will be to fill the need for skilled trade laborers while empowering all young people, especially those in need, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring adults.

    Construction workers work on the new McKenzie Regional Workforce Center. (Photo: Ascendium)

    “The dream of building a skilled trades center in Dane County is soon to be reality, and it is because of supporters like Ascendium,” said Michael Johnson, president/CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County. “McKenzie Regional Workforce Center will be the largest of its kind in South Central Wisconsin, and it will provide opportunities for young adults to access resources, programming and support systems that will diminish achievement gaps and generate transformational change for families in our community.”

    The facility will host Careerforce Build Up, the skilled trades training program designed to educate and support interested youth to pursue careers as plumbers, carpenters, HVAC technicians, electricians and more, according to a press release from Ascendium. Hundreds of young people are expected to receive training through the program.