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Contact: Laura Derpinghaus, Director of Marketing & Communications; GPS Education Partners
Mobile: 262.894.3382
Email: lderpinghaus@gpsed.org

GPS Education Partners Annual Fundraiser Drives Work-based Learning Across Multiple Industries like Manufacturing, Construction, Automotive, IT and More

“Ignite the Transformation” event will support students across Wisconsin with JP Cullen as a presenting sponsor. 

Waukesha, WI. – August 22, 2023

On Thursday, September 14, GPS Education Partners (GPS Ed) will host Ignite the Transformation, an annual fundraising event that strengthens the organization’s commitment to providing work-based learning opportunities to high school students and validating technical career pathways as viable choices for the next generation workforce.

GPS Ed is on a journey to change the lives of thousands of students by providing a pathway to prosperity that will have a ripple effect throughout their communities.

This year’s fundraiser will allow GPS Ed’s ability to provide more work-based learning opportunities to more students across the country to address the growing thriveability crisis facing our youth. GPS Ed is putting social and financial capital together to create seamless ecosystems that will provide pathways to success. Founded as a manufacturing youth apprenticeship program, GPS Ed has introduced career pathways in the construction, automotive, and IT spaces, just to name a few. 

“We believe that scaleable work-based learning must become an accepted and essential part of the education model for schools so that all students can succeed in the future workforce, especially for students who are underserved or sidelined in the traditional classroom”, says Stephanie Reisner, GPS Ed President and CEO. 

This year’s event has captured the support of sponsors who are committed to sharing their industry and social knowledge today, to make a better future tomorrow for our youth. 

“We are thrilled to be the presenting sponsor of the upcoming GPS Ed event. By investing in the education and training of these students, we are not only empowering them with valuable skills but also fostering a stronger and more vibrant community. As staunch advocates for the trades, we believe that this endeavor will not only benefit the students directly involved but also contribute to the growth of the trades industry by attracting more individuals to pursue rewarding careers in skilled professions. Our commitment to this cause reflects our belief in the transformative power of work-based learning and our dedication to creating lasting positive impact in Wisconsin and beyond.” says Sean Cullen, Owner and Director of Business Development for JP Cullen.

‘Igniting’ student transformation will have a literal meaning when GPS Ed’s Trailblazer Sponsor, Acuity Insurance, shows their heart by helping GPS Ed Light the Hoan to mark the event’s need to raise funds that will support students on their journey.

“With over 7,700 manufacturers trusting Acuity to protect them, we know how crucial a robust manufacturing workforce is to the future of the industry. We are proud to continue our sponsorship of GPS Ed and work together to grow the next generation of manufacturing talent,” said Melissa Winter, Acuity President. 

The event will be held at The Cooperage Milwaukee where students and alumni will share their experience of transformation in GPS Ed’s Education Center and Youth Apprenticeship Program. The evening will also include a silent auction that will open to the public on September 5th. Guests at the event will participate in a live auction with fabulous get-aways and unique items and experiences for all. Tickets are nearly sold out but if you are interested, you can visit https://gpsed.org/transformationsevent/ for more information. Auction items are still being accepted so if you would like to help transform a students life, please contact Heather at hculli@gpsed.org.

GPS Ed is pleased to have the following sponsors join them this year: JP Cullen, Acuity, Generac, Dwayne Johnson Associates, MPE, Waukesha Metal Products, Reinhart Law,, Brown & Brown, CIBC, Lakeside Manufacturing, Sentry Equipment, BMO Harris bank, Abaxent, R&R Insurance, and First Business Bank, among others.


About GPS Education Partners 

Founded in 2000, GPS Education Partners is a community-based nonprofit organization and work-based learning (WBL) intermediary offering one of the largest statewide manufacturing youth apprenticeships and  WBL services throughout the country. GPS Ed’s proven education model is the catalyst to building strategic ecosystems with education, business, and community stakeholders.  To learn more about GPS Ed, visit www.gpsed.org or email info@gpsed.org

About JP Cullen 

JP Cullen is a fifth-generation family-owned business. Since 1892, they have taken on the most challenging government, education, healthcare, commerce, industrial, arts & entertainment and historic restoration projects across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. Today they are a $600+ million full-service preconstruction and construction company with 800 employees, managing projects from $1,000 to over $100 million in size – from new construction to additions and to specialized work (e.g. steel erection, masonry, carpentry, historical restoration, equipment installation). The Cullen Foundation and the company’s people give back to the community through donations and resources and volunteering their time. JP Cullen is committed to improving lives by helping to make a difference.

About Acuity Insurance

Acuity Insurance, headquartered in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, insures over 125,000 businesses, including 300,000 commercial vehicles, and nearly a half million homes and private passenger autos across 31 states. Rated A+ by A.M. Best and S&P, Acuity employs over 1,600 people.


Laura Derpinghaus | Director Marketing & Communications 

lderpinghaus@GPSEd.org  |  C: 262/894.3382


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