Happy AmeriCorps Week, Fathiya and Molly!

Karen Bednar Announcements, Youth Programs Leave a Comment

AmeriCorps Week: March 11 – 17, 2018

Partners for After School Success (PASS) members contribute to AmeriCorps national goals by “Getting Things Done” in Dane County, Wisconsin! PASS is a multi-site program run by the Dane County Department of Human Services in partnership with thirteen host site agencies that provide youth development programming. PASS AmeriCorps members serve at host sites in predominantly low-income communities with the goal of providing educational support alongside middle and high school youth; providing extended learning programs that build social-emotional learning skills and engaging youth in service to the community.

PASS AmeriCorps members are a vital part of the Youth Programs team at Common Wealth Development. Our award-winning programs serve a diverse group of youth who face barriers to employment and higher education throughout Madison and Sun Prairie. Our PASS members co-lead job development and financial literacy workshops for middle, high and alternative school students, as well as help facilitate the placement of teens into local jobs. A large component of the service year is one-on-one student mentoring to ensure each teen’s success at their job placement and in other aspects of their life.

Common Wealth Development is grateful to work with two talented AmeriCorps members this year.

Meet Fathiya Ali. Originally from Somalia, Fathiya has lived in Madison for about six years now. She is currently in her last semester at UW-Madison, majoring in Consumer Finance and getting a certificate in sustainability. She has three children, two boys and a girl. In her free time, she likes to read self-improvement and personal growth books. Her commitment to community and advocacy for families and youth is demonstrated through her service as Vice President of the Somali Community Council in Madison and as an AmeriCorps member with Common Wealth Development. She is very passionate about youth development programs because she has seen the positive effect that it has in community development, seeing how far youth grow in these programs with mentorship. She is very excited to be part of the Common Wealth team and looks forward to meeting with the students that she will be working with this year.

Molly Berg recently joined Common Wealth Development as a PASS AmeriCorps member in January 2018. She grew up in Watertown, Wisconsin, and is graduating this May from UW-Madison with a degree in Rehabilitation Psychology, Spanish and Global Health. As she nears graduation, she is exploring options for pursuing a career in public health. She has worked in the past with youth in Madison School and Community Recreation programs such as AVID at West High and Schools of Hope at Lincoln Elementary. In her free time, Molly enjoys traveling, scrapbooking, and going to different coffee shops are Madison. Molly is a true Badger, loves going to sports events, and serves as house-fellow at UW. She is excited to continue to work with youth in Madison and help them develop and find job opportunities that interest them.

Common Wealth Development is honored to work with Fathiya and Molly, and deeply appreciate their critical assistance with the Youth Business Mentoring Program and the Wanda Fullmore Summer Internship Program. Happy AmeriCorps Week, Fathiya and Molly! Thank you for your service!

Congratulations, Diane!

Karen Bednar Announcements, Housing, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Congratulations to Diane Eddings on her new position with the Bayview Foundation as their new Housing Manager!

Please join us in celebrating this great opportunity for Diane to continue her service to Madison and Dane County. Bayview is going through a transition and is working through their options for their path forward.  There is no person that we know of who is better qualified to guide them through this period than Diane Eddings. Common Wealth Development is proud to have one of our own in this leadership position. In her 20 years of service to Common Wealth Development, Diane has worked in numerous roles within the company.  First, as a Youth Employment Counselor and Coordinator, then in many roles in housing which lead to her current role as the Housing Manager.

Within these roles, Diane has made a significant and lasting impact on the organization. Diane has seen the organization grow and expand in numerous ways, and her contributions are a central tenet in the overall strength of Common Wealth Development. While we are excited to support her in this new journey, she will be dearly missed.

Congratulations, Diane! Godspeed and best of luck.

Willy Street Fair raffle banner

2017 Willy Street Fair Raffle

Karen Bednar Events, Willy Street Fair 4 Comments

Common Wealth Development
& Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center’s
2017 Willy Street Fair Raffle

Drawing: Sunday, September 17 @ 6:30pm, Third Lake Market Lot,
944 Williamson St.

Tickets are 1 for $2 / 3 for $5 / 10 for $10.

To get tickets:

1. Stop by Mickey’s Tavern, located at 1524 Williamson Street.
2. Stop by the Common Wealth office, located at 1501 Williamson Street in Madison, between 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on weekdays.
3. Call Karen at 608.256.3527 x34 to arrange a different time to meet at the Common Wealth office to buy raffle tickets.
4. Stop by the booth at the 40th Annual Willy Street Fair, located near the 1000 block of Williamson Street the weekend of September 16-17, 2017.

Here are a list of raffle prizes for this year!


$1,000 Cash – Donated by Applied Tech Solutions
Ladies Elektra Ticino 7D Bicycle ($709 value) – Donated by Trek Bikes
$525 Cash – Donated by Badger Welding Supply, Baer Insurance Services, Struck & Irwin Fence, Full Spectrum Solar, Potter’s Crackers
4 tickets to a Milwaukee Bucks regular season game ($510 value) – Donated by Milwaukee Bucks
Gift Card to Willy Street Co-op ($250 Value) – Donated by the Willy Street Co-op
Weber Performer Grill ($249 Value) – Donated by Ace Hardware on Williamson Street
The Absolute Relief Spa Package ($228 Value) – Donated by Kneaded Relief Day Spa and Wellness
Gift Card to The Straight Thread ($200 value) – Donated by The Straight Thread

Over 125 Additional Prizes

A Pig in a Fur Coat – $30 gift certificate
A Room of One’s Own – $50 gift certificate
A Woman’s Touch – gift basket
Alchemy – gift certificate
Argus Bar & Grille – $20 gift certificate
Atwood Acupuncture Center – one session
Atwood Barber Shop – $25 gift certificate
Avenue Bar & Bubble Up Bar – $25 gift certificate
Bad Dog Frida – $20 gift certificate
Bandung Restaurant – $25 gift certificate
Banzo – $25 gift certificate (x2)
Barrymore Theatre & ACG – $25 gift certificate (x4)
Batch Bakehouse – $50 gift certificate
Body & Brain Yoga & Taichi – 5 class pack/into sess.
Buraka – $20 gift certificate (x2)
Burnie’s Rock Shop – $50 gift certificate; $100 g.c.
Caring Hands Massage & Bodywork – 1 hr. therapy
Change Boutique – $100 gift certificate
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream – scoop (x10)
Crystal Corner Bar – $25 gift certificate (x2)
Daisy Café and Cupcakery – $20 gift certificate
Dashelito Hot Sauces – hot sauce package
Davis Dancewear, Etc. – $50 gift certificate
Eldorado Grill – $25 gift certificate
El Sabor de Puebla – $25 gift certificate (x2)
Essen Haus – $25 gift certificate
EVP Coffee – $25 gift certificate (x2) Festival Foods – $50 gift certificate (x2)
Fuegos – $25 gift certificate (x2)
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier – two tix to a tasting
Gotham Bagels – gift certificate
Green Owl Cafe – $10 gift certificate (x3)
Ground Zero Coffee – gift certificate
Ha Long By Vietnamese & Thai Bistro – $25 gift cert.
Hallman/Lindsay Paints – $75 gift certificate
Hatch Art House – $20 gift certificate
Hazel General Store – $20 gift certificate
High Noon Saloon – 4 passes to a show
Hop Head Beer Tours – $75 gift certificate
Howe Brothers Plumbing – $25 gift certificate
Jamerica – $20 gift certificate (x2)
Karben4 Brewing – $50 gift certificate
Lakeside Press – gift certificate
Lazy Jane’s Café – gift certificate
Mad City Music Exchange – $25 gift certificate (x4)
Madison Children’s Museum – pass for two (x2)
Madison Concourse Hotel – $50 gift certificate
Madison Magazine – one-year subscription
MMoCA – dual or family membership; $15 gift card
Madison Sourdough – $50 gift certificate
Manna Café & Bakery – $20 gift certificate (x2)
Michael’s Frozen Custard – single plain cone (x15)
Mickey’s Tavern – gift certificate
Monty’s Blue Plate – $25 gift certificate
Mother Fools Coffeehouse – $10 gift certificate
Olbrich Gardens – family membership
Old Sugar Distillery – $25 gift certificate (x2)
Orange Tree Imports – $25 gift certificate
Overture Center – gift certificate
Plaka Taverna – gift certificate
Red Sage Health – body treatment bundle
Revolution Cycles – gift certificate
RP’s Pasta Company – one package of pasta (x20)
Sardine – $100 gift certificate
Square Wine Co. – two tix for a Friday night tasting
St. Vincent de Paul Stores – gift certificate
Stalzy’s Deli – $25 gift certificate
Star Liquor – $50 gift certificate
Steve’s Tattoo – $50 gift certificate (x2)
Sunroom Café – $10 gift certificate (x2)
Table Wine – gift certificate
TAPIT/new works – two tickets to patient zero
Tempest Oyster Bar – gift certificate
Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace – $25 gift certificate
Tip Top Tavern – $25 gift certificate (x2)
Umami Ramen & Dumpling Bar – $25 gift card (x4)
The Vinery Stained Glass Studio – $50 gift cert. (classes)
Warren Heating & A/C – cleaning/safety check
Weary Traveler Freehouse – 2 entrees (x3)
WISCO/Willy Street Tavern – $25 gift card (x2)

For more information call Karen Bednar @ Common Wealth at 608.256.3527, x34

Wanda Fullmore Interns Matched with City of Madison Departments at Kick-Off Celebration

Karen Bednar Youth Programs Leave a Comment

The Wanda Fullmore Internship Program kicked off last Monday, June 19th, with a dinner and celebration hosted by Mayor Paul Soglin at Central Library’s beautiful community room. After a long intake and pre-internship training process over the past two weeks, Common Wealth Development Youth Programs staff announced the 45 paid internship placements with the city. Interns and their families had a blast connecting their new respective supervisors – associated with city departments and offices such as Civil Rights, Economic Development, Public Health, Fire Department, Water Utility, Madison Public Library and others.

The eight week internship has begun. Mentorship teams through Common Wealth and City of Madison supervisors will continue to support the development of the interns’ job skills and professional network. “Most importantly,” Economic Development Director, Rachel Darken, said, “you’re about to learn a lot more about yourselves –the type of work that most excites you, the careers you may be interested in pursuing, and that you can accomplish more than you thought possible.”

Wanda Fullmore encouraged and inspired the new interns as she welcomed them into their new roles. Her advice included, “With personality and patience, enjoy it! Ask questions!”

Mayor Soglin shared Wanda Fullmore’s story. Wanda began as an intern herself with the City of Madison and was hired during his first term as mayor. Mayor Soglin said she represents dozens, if not hundreds of people, who had the opportunity to build a career, take care of family and yourself, and retire. Wanda recently retired after four decades with the City. Mayor Soglin stated to the interns, “You have the opportunity to go to work, come home, proud of your contribution!”

Internship with the Madison Fire Department

Read More

Promoting Successful Rental Living: a Two-Way Street

Karen Bednar Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Project, Events, Housing, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Last Wednesday evening, renters and landlords gathered at the Meadowridge Library Community Room for a neighborhood forum for getting honest answers on successful renting, as well as a sponsored meal together and raffle drawings.

The forum was designed and implemented by the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI), an initiative with the Madison Police Department and Common Wealth Development that supports community-level health approaches to city-wide violence prevention efforts, and includes bolstering community cohesion through positive neighborhood events.

The event was led by Stephanie Bradley Wilson, the Byrne advisory team, and other committed volunteers. Housing Mangers of Common Wealth and Meridian Group Inc., served on the discussion panel and highlighted, “The best thing for the landlord is for you to stay.” In addressing housing stability concerns, Diane Eddings of Common Wealth talked about the top 10 reasons why landlords are sometimes in the position to ask folks to move. Diane reemphasized the importance of communication and her goals of supporting stable, affordable housing.

What is the key to successful renting? It is a two-way street of communication and respect. The discussion panel responded in a Q and A session with renters to address mutual interests and concerns. The forum discussed business relationships, the value of the lease for both the renter and landlord, and focused on renters’ support and rights.

The discussion panel was comprised of:
Mike Bruce, Dane County Joining Forces for Families, Community Social Worker;
Diane Eddings, Common Wealth Development, Housing Manager;
Jason Hagenow, Meridian Group, Inc., Property Manager; and
David “Rosebud” Sparer, Herrick & Kasdorf LLP, Attorney.

The meeting was information-rich and supportive, exemplifying the value of the two-way communication street to both renters and landlords.

Thanks to the event sponsors: Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation, the Meadowood Neighborhood Association, Meridian Group Inc., Common Wealth Development, and others!


Congratulations, Tyson Jackson!

Karen Bednar Announcements, Uncategorized, Youth Programs 2 Comments

Let us take this opportunity to congratulate Tyson Jackson on his new position with UW Health as their Senior Career Pathways Coordinator!!

In this position, Tyson will be responsible for creating, coordinating, teaching and facilitating health career pathways programs and training that will aid in building UW Health’s future diverse clinical and non-clinical workforce.  This is going to be a high-vis position, and a great opportunity for Tyson to continue to showcase his tremendous talents and expertise in the service of the people of Madison and Dane County.

Tyson came aboard Common Wealth in May 2013 as a Limited Term Employee, and became a full-time part of the Youth Programs’ staff in October of the same year.  During his time with Common Wealth, Tyson has mentored 145 youth through the Youth Business Mentorship and Wanda Fullmore programs, placed over 75 youth in employment, partnered with Old Navy to facilitate the Adopt-a-Family gift giving during the Christmas/Winter holiday season for youth in need and assisted in the training and development of new Youth Programs’ staff.

His morale and good-spirit are infectious and will be dearly missed.

Congratulations, Tyson!


Tyson’s Poem to Staff:

To the Common Wealth staff, who came bearing gift,

To give a tiny new being, and her parents a lift.


No, they didn’t pick them up, up off of the floor,

But they lifted them where, it counts even more.


When hearts become warm, and you’re weak in the knees,

It’s people like you, who make moments like these.


We’ve had fortune to travel, through each of your thoughts,

When anything else, could’ve filled our spots.


I could go on forever, giving thanks to you for being so clever.


So I’ll end with a thank you, as it’s the least I can do,

And attached is a photo, as I bid you ado.

Common Wealth Congratulates Sarah Hole!

Andy Miller Announcements, Business Incubators, Events, Uncategorized, Williamson-Marquette Neighborhood Leave a Comment

It is our honor and privilege to announce that Sarah Hole will be leaving Common Wealth Development, effective July 31, to enjoy her retirement. Over the past 22 years, Sarah has been instrumental in Common Wealth’s success as well as being an integral piece of Madison’s economy as the Facilities Director for Common Wealth’s two business incubators, Madison Enterprise Center and Main Street Industries.

Prior to her arrival at Common Wealth, Sarah earned a B.A. in Fine Arts from Earlham College and a MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Sarah joined the Common Wealth family on September 1, 1995, and has been an ambit of growth and development for our economic development efforts ever since. Through Sarah’s stewardship and support, the Common Wealth incubators have supported the growth of over 100 businesses including the 28 current incubator tenants (since their inception Common Wealth incubators have served 137 total businesses). Some of the successful incubator graduates include: ShopBop, Virent Energy Systems, Filament Games, Etes-Vous Pret, Artful Home, Broadjam, Full Spectrum Solar, Applied Tech Solutions and Just Coffee.

In 2007 Sarah worked with MG&E Facility Director on coordinating MEC building renovations that included insulating all exterior walls, installing new energy efficient windows and installing new high efficiency HVAC units. In 2010, she successfully applied for a Business Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) application for $100,000 ($50,000 grant and $50,000 no interest loan) for energy improvements at Main Street Industries. BEEP provided funding for the installation of a 10kW solar electric system, replacement of 22 aging HVAC units with high efficiency units and upgrading of common area lighting.

Currently, Sarah is at the helm of a $1.5M rehabilitation of Main Street Industries, setting the incubator up for continued success for the years to come. There is no doubt that the overall success and upkeep of the Common Wealth business incubators are largely due to her dedication and commitment to the building and the economic development efforts of Common Wealth.

Madison is fortunate to have people such as Sarah Hole counted amongst its citizenry, whose dedication and commitment to the mission of Common Wealth has served to establish economic opportunities that will benefit the community for many years to come.

Please join us in congratulating Sarah on October 25 from 5:00 pm – 7:00pm at Old Sugar Distillery.

Common Wealth welcomes Tiffany Vanphravong to the Youth Programs team!

Andy Miller Announcements, Youth Programs Leave a Comment

Common Wealth is excited to welcome Tiffany Vanphravong to the Youth Programs team! Tiffany is a native Madisonian who was born and raised on the East side. When she graduated from East High School in 2010 as a P.E.O.P.L.E. Scholar, she enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Tiffany focused her education on Human Development and Family Studies and graduated in 2016. After graduation, she worked with both Madison Schools & Community Recreation (MSCR) and the Urban League of Greater Madison before coming to Common Wealth this month. At MSCR, Tiffany ensured that day-to-day after school programs ran smoothly at O’Keeffe Middle School, and even created and led a baking club for students. With the Urban League, she trained volunteers, tutored, and monitored the effectiveness of other volunteers.

As a Youth Employment Specialist, Tiffany will be running the Youth-Business Mentoring Program sessions at Memorial and Sun Prairie High Schools, while also mentoring teens and connecting them with supporting job opportunities in the community. Tiffany shares that she’s “excited to work with an awesome team of people and make a difference in a kid’s life.”

To learn more about our Youth Programs and meet Tiffany and other Common Wealth employees, you are invited to attend the Commonalities Event on Wednesday, May 17th. Register online to reserve your spot! http://bit.ly/Commonalities2017

An Art Show by Women Artists comes to the Common Wealth Gallery

Andy Miller Uncategorized Leave a Comment

On May 19-24, from 12 noon to 6PM, there will be a show by women artists on display in the Common Wealth Gallery. Additionally, an opening reception will be held from 6:00-9:00PM on May 19th.  The Common Wealth Gallery is a community art gallery located in the historic Madison Enterprise Center at 100 S. Baldwin Street on Madison’s near east-side. Learn more about our gallery at http://www.cwd.org/gallery/.



Commonalities Event Series – Night Two: Youth Programs Focus

Andy Miller Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Common Wealth Youth Programs has positively affected youth in the Greater Madison area since 1991. By providing employment training and job placements for program participants, Common Wealth has helped over 8,500 youth develop valuable employment skills, connect to employment opportunities, and benefit from quality mentoring relationships.

To learn about Common Wealth’s Youth Programs, join us at Old Sugar Distillery from 5:00-7:00PM on Wednesday, May 17, for the second night in our Commonalities Event Series. At this free event you’ll get to learn about Common Wealth’s youth programs while mingling with Common Wealth staff, board members, and other great folks. There will be free food by Underground Food Collective and a cash bar including a signature cocktail (with $2 from each drink going to Common Wealth) by Old Sugar Distillery. Space is limited, so please register for the event by May 12th.

Register at http://bit.ly/Commonalities2017.

Common Wealth continues our mission in 2017 with longstanding and innovative programming initiatives. Our flagship program, the Youth-Business Mentoring Program, is an intensive 3-week job training program that serves 151 youth every year. From each public Madison and Sun Prairie High School, student participants are recruited to voluntarily participate in employment skill and financial literacy development. Program participants are then matched with a local business partner for seasonal or long-term employment. Mentorship plays a key role throughout our programming is it allows for constant communication, problem solving, and job coaching all while contributing to soft skill development.

Common Wealth also provides an opportunity for local youth to develop their pre-employment skills and financial literacy through our Employment and Financial Education Workshops. We partner with various schools and community groups every year to help over 100 youth in middle and high school build the skills they need to be successful in the workplace.

The Wanda Fullmore Youth Internship Program is Common Wealth’s latest programming effort. Partnering with the City of Madison and the Mayor’s Office, in two years, Common Wealth has provided over 80 students with paid internships in various City of Madison departments. On pace to add another 50 student participants in the summer of 2017, Common Wealth continues to help underserved city residents gain exposure to local government and build connections to their community while providing a platform for student success.

Through these programs, Common Wealth uses employment and financial literacy as vehicles to teach teens life skills and to give them the opportunities and the power to change their lives. Our program participants develop self-esteem, leadership and conflict resolution skills, and interpersonal competence. In 2017, we will help over 300 youth develop and apply employment and money management skills, explore careers and higher education, and have access to employment opportunities, earned income, and supportive relationships with adult mentors.

Again, we hope you’ll join us at Old Sugar Distillery from 5:00-7:00PM on Wednesday, May 17, to learn more about our exciting work with area youth. Space is limited, so please register for the event by May 12th. Register at http://bit.ly/Commonalities2017.