Dan Norton (Filament Games), Sarah Hole (Common Wealth), Dan White (Filament Games)

Recap of Lunch & Learn with Filament Games

Karen Bednar Business Incubators Leave a Comment

On April 5, 2016, we were fortunate to host our business incubator tenants for a Lunch & Learn at Old Sugar Distillery, one of our incubator tenants. Underground Catering (another incubator tenant) provided a delicious meal of pulled pork and smoked brisket, as well as kale salad, potato salad and brownies. Hinckley Productions hooked us up with a sound system. Kent Sweitzer took photos of the gathering, which are available in this online album. Filament Games co-founders Dan White and Dan Norton shared their experiences of being a tenant in the Madison Enterprise Center. In 2011, they moved to the top floor of 316 W. Washington Avenue, near the capitol in Madison. Filament Games is an educational gaming company started by …

Yanglee Vang, Youth Programs alum

Youth Programs Alumni Profile: Yanglee Vang

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We recently had a chance to catch up with Yanglee (Yang) Vang, a participant in the Youth-Business Mentoring Program during the 1998-99 school year while a student at Madison East High School. After completing the three week training, she was placed at the Puzzle Box, a toy store on State Street now known as A New Hope Collectible Toys & Comics, where she was a cashier. Later, Common Wealth placed her at the Red Roof Inn on the east side doing housekeeping. In 2000, Common Wealth was able to place her for a third position at Reserve America, a call center for campsite reservations, where she developed her phone experience. All these jobs have led her to where she is …

Marianne Morton

Marianne Morton nominated for Athena Award

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Marianne Morton, executive director at Common Wealth, has been nominated for the ATHENA Award. Marianne is one of ten finalists with the award to be presented on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at the Concourse Hotel in Madison. The purpose of the award was to bring into focus the outstanding professional and business women in the community and to encourage the opening of leadership opportunities for women in the workplaces of the Chamber and the community. The ATHENA Award is presented for outstanding achievement, service and assistance to women in reaching their full personal and leadership potential. In addition to recognizing one ATHENA recipient, the process also allows for the recognition of the many nominees who contribute so much to our community. …

Antilica Xiong, student at Sun Prairie High School

Youth Programs Profile: Antilica Xiong

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We recently had a chance to catch up with Antilica Xiong, a student at Sun Prairie High School (SPHS) and recent participant in Common Wealth’s Youth-Business Mentoring Program. Tili was placed through the program at Orange Leaf, a frozen yogurt store. She officially completed the Youth-Business Mentoring Program in December, about four months after she was placed in her job. The experience has changed her life. “I’m not antisocial anymore,” Tili, a freshman at SPHS, reflected on the experience. Many of her co-workers are classmates at her high school, and it’s easy to get lost in a big school. Her confidence has improved. “Being with other people has helped.” She now recognizes a few faces as she walks the halls …

Mario Mack

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

Karen Bednar 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 …

Virent, Inc.

Congratulations to Virent, Inc. for “40 Hottest Small Companies” award

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Congratulations to one of our business incubator graduates! Virent, Inc. took the top spot in the 2015-2016 “40 Hottest Small Companies” at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC) in San Francisco. Read more about their award. Congrats again to Virent and to all the current and former businesses that make up our incubator spaces that are doing good in this world!

Mixing jam at Quince & Apple

Quince and Apple moves to Main Street Industries

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“Quince and Apple has been so lucky to be part of the Common Wealth family. Starting our business at the Madison Enterprise Center, we were able to pay very affordable rent and incrementally increase our space in line with our growth. When we graduated from MEC, we were lucky enough to find the perfect space at Main Street Industries and we are so happy to be here. Common Wealth is hugely important to our community and provides awesome support for small businesses to start up.” Clare Stoner Fehsenfeld, Quince & Apple > Read more about Quince and Apple’s move.

Mock interview at Madison West High School, a component of the 3 week training program provided to 135 youth annually by Common Wealth.

Youth Programs Volunteer Opportunities

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Common Wealth is looking for volunteers in the following areas. Please contact Rachel Darken, Youth Programs Director, at 608.256.3527 x18 or Rachel@cwd.org if you have any questions or would like to get involved! Mock Interviews Common Wealth conducts several sessions of our Youth-Business Mentoring Program and our Employment Workshops during the year in which we teach students the basics of looking for a job, applying and interviewing successfully, problem solving on the job, and successful financial management. For each of these, we arrange for volunteers from the community to come in and interview our students. Mock interviewers act as managers, supervisors, and owners of businesses and interview students, one at a time, as if the student was actually interviewing for …

2014 Youth Program Annual Review

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In its 24th year, Common Wealth’s Youth Program was successful in its goal to provide disadvantaged youth in the Greater Madison community with employment and financial education, job placements, and mentoring. We served 135 teens in our Youth-Business Mentoring Program, and another 129 youth in our Employment and Financial Education Workshops. 94% of our Youth-Business Mentoring Program participants were students of color 96% came from low-income households 69 % lived in challenged neighborhoods 109 teens were placed in jobs with local businesses Read more about what we accomplished in our 2014 Annual Review by clicking the link below! 2014 Youth Program Annual Review

Amy Crowe, Summit Credit Union

Amy Crowe – A True Backyard Hero!

Karen Bednar Youth Programs 1 Comment

Common Wealth’s Youth Programs is proud to recognize Amy Crowe as our Backyard Hero through the Community Shares of Wisconsin. Common Wealth’s Youth Programs is proud to recognize Amy Crowe as our Backyard Hero through the Community Shares of Wisconsin. Amy Crowe is a Financial Education Specialist, CUDE with Summit Credit Union. As a volunteer for Common Wealth’s Youth Programs since 2009, Amy Crowe shared her financial knowledge to help develop a financial education curriculum. She also coordinates field trips to Summit Credit Union for students in the Youth-Business Mentoring Program. Amy’s genuine joy in helping others take control of their financial futures is invaluable to the youth she serves. We are eternally grateful for Amy’s dedication to our Youth …