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Urban Ecology Center and VJS Construction Services Hold a Signing Day Event for High School Interns

Real Estate Awards

On Wednesday, February 28, Urban Ecology Center in partnership with VJS Construction Services hosted a signing day celebrating its youth interns interested in pursuing a career in the construction industry.

The signing day event marked the commencement of the internship experience for six high school interns, with three from Washington High School and three from Transition High School – both schools are in the Milwaukee Public School District. These interns signed certificates of participation, officially acknowledging their commitment to the program. Throughout the internship, students will be paired with participating firms, including VJS Construction Services, Quorum Architects, Steiner Electric, Horner Plumbing, and Southport Engineered Systems. These partnerships provide students with hands-on construction experience, ranging from general contracting to electrical work to plumbing and more.

Thanks to partnerships with United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee and Employ Milwaukee, students will receive compensation for their participation in the internship program.

The Urban Ecology Center in Washington Park is undergoing an exciting transformation with VJS Construction Services leading the renovation and expansion, and Quorum Architects as the design partner. Since its inception in 2007, this location has been a cornerstone of neighborhood revitalization efforts.


In 2022 alone, the Urban Ecology Center welcomed over 88,000 visitors and facilitated more than 5,100 student experiences through partnerships with local schools. With over 2,500 hours of volunteer work, it's clear that the community values and supports the Urban Ecology Center's mission.


Humberto Sanchez, Senior Project Manager at VJS Construction Services, leading the renovation and expansion, shared insights into the project scope. "The project entails nearly doubling the size of the existing facility to 28,000 square feet, including the addition of a new Observation Deck and other site improvements," he stated. "It's a collaborative effort with our trade partners to not only bring Urban Ecology Center’s vision to life but also to consider its impact on the community. I am grateful to our trade partners who are participating in this internship, providing an opportunity to area students. Many students are unaware of the career opportunities available to them; this program offers them a firsthand experience. This initiative plays a significant role in our efforts to attract and retain the next generation of the workforce."

Now, with the renovation and expansion project, the Urban Ecology Center aims to double the capacity of its Neighborhood Environmental Education Project program, reaching out to 31 schools within the first three years. The new education and community center will provide even greater opportunities for environmental education programs, further enriching the community.


“I'm thrilled about the positive impact this expansion will have on the community we serve. Residents are eagerly following the progress of the center, expressing their excitement about the enhanced facilities. Moreover, I'm excited that this internship opportunity will not only provide local students with a firsthand look at the construction process but also allow them to gain hands-on experience in construction trades,” said Terry Evens, Branch Director – Washington Park. “A heartfelt thank you to all our project partners who have made this internship opportunity possible. Together, we're building a brighter future for our community.”



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