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Boys & Girls Club All White Party draws 1,300 to new McKenzie Regional Workforce Center

John and JoEllen McKenzie cut the ribbon at the McKenzie Workforce Development Center grand opening. Photo by Omar Waheed.

About 1,300 people attended the first-ever All White Party to be held at the McKenzie Regional Workforce Center Saturday night, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson said Sunday. Coupled with more than 600 that took part in the Move4BGC bike ride and run Saturday morning, the events raised more than $575,000 for BGCDC programming.

The day’s events also served as the grand opening of the McKenzie Regional Workforce Center, which is also now the headquarters of BGCDC. As Blueprint365 previously reported, the center will serve as a place for young people to learn skills, entrepreneurship and financial management to prepare for careers in the trades.

The building was purchased by longtime BGCDC donor John McKenzie and donated to the BGCDC, then gutted and remodeled. It includes classroom and workshop space, $50,000 worth of tools donated by Milwaukee Tool, forklift and truck driving simulators and other trade training facilities.

Additionally, several nonprofit organizations have or will have offices in the building: Madison Area Builders Association, Latino Academy of Workforce Development, Habitate for Humanity, and Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership Big Step will all have a presense in the building. 365 Media Foundation, the nonprofit organization that publishes Madison365, now has its corporate headquarters there as well.

“My little nephew, he’s six years old, said to me, ‘Uncle Mike, I want to go to a school like this when I get older,'” Johnson said. “Somebody said this feels like a Fortune 500 training facility.”

Celebrity guests Taye Diggs, Larenz Tate, Christian Keyes and Bern Nadette (Thelma) Stanis took photos with attendees. Kyree Brooks, aka DJ Ree Maniac, provided entertainment along with bands Kinfolk and Funktastics.