Megan Diaz-Ricks Named Director of Economic Development at Common Wealth!

Karen Bednar Announcements, Business Incubators, Southwest Partnership, Youth Programs

On behalf of Common Wealth Development, we are honored, privileged, and excited to announce Megan Diaz-Ricks as the Director of Economic Development for Common Wealth Development. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to support our mission and help to lead our team towards our vision for Madison.” In this role and impact, Megan will lead all aspects of our Economic Development work, including the general vision, program development and administrative and personnel oversight of our Youth and Adult Workforce Development Programs, our Business Incubators (Main Street Industries & Madison Enterprise Center) and our commercial development projects and portfolio. Megan previously served as a Coordination of Care Specialist, supporting Common Wealth’s work in West Madison in the areas of adult workforce …

STEP employee Lavon Bryson working in the native prairie at Holy Wisdom Monastery with Greg Armstrong in April 2016.

STEP participants help restore native prairie at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Andy Miller Southwest Partnership Leave a Comment

“This is the right thing to do at the monastery,” states Greg Armstrong, land management director at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton. Greg directs volunteer efforts to restore the monastery’s 130 acres of former farmland into native prairie. Some of his recent volunteers include participants in Common Wealth’s Southwest Transitional Employment Project (STEP), a program of the Southwest Partnership (SWP) with Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ and Dane County’s Joining Forces for Families. “So many of the ‘least’ in our community have experienced prejudice,” observes Greg. “Working together helps us build mutual respect for each other.” The idea with the STEP program is to efficiently connect motivated neighbors to a short-term paid employment experience, individualized support, and connections to SWP volunteers. …

Mario Mack

Mario Mack: From Youth-Business Mentoring Program to mentoring kids on the southwest side

Andy Miller Southwest Partnership, Youth Programs Leave a Comment

Mario Mack strolls the halls at Falk Elementary School on Madison’s southwest side. He calms down a girl who is flustered by a classmate who was making fun of her. He advises her to stay cool and he’ll check on the situation. As the parent liaison for the school, he is trying to help kids now and into the future. Mario participated in Common Wealth’s Youth-Business Mentoring Program during the 1996-97 school year while a student at Madison East High School. He was placed at the Willy Street Coop as a bagger and did some pricing, and “it was the beginning of adulthood for me.” Mario worked at the Coop through 1999 when he graduated from high school. “A lot of …