Associated Bank will be partnering with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School to take part in its innovative Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP). Along with other greater Milwaukee-area companies and organizations, they will work together to employ an anticipated freshmen class of 125 Cristo Rey Jesuit students during the school’s inaugural 2015-16 academic year. The CWSP will provide students with the opportunity to develop practical professional skills as a supplement to their classroom learning.

The first of its kind in the state of Wisconsin, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School is located in West Milwaukee and will provide Catholic, college-preparatory education to young men and women of all faiths, and of limited financial means.  In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, all Cristo Rey students will work at local companies or organizations, and will ultimately graduate from high school with four years of work experience.

The jobs offered to these students will be selected with consideration to both the needs of the company, as well as the particular interests and skills of the students. Over the course of the school year, students will work five full workdays a month, performing entry-level tasks. In turn, Associated Bank and other companies will pay a wage to the CWSP for the students’ work. While the funds earned through the CWSP will contribute to the students’ educational experience, the real value of the CWSP is the exposure to the professional environment and the impact it has on students’ future career ambitions.

“We are very excited to partner with these amazing companies and applaud their commitment to the next generation of business leaders," said Joe Mazza, director of the Corporate Work Study Program. "The Jesuits have a rich history of education in Milwaukee, but the work study model is what sets Cristo Rey schools apart by addressing the evolving needs of both the students and the businesses.”

“We are pleased to partner with Cristo Rey,” said John Utz, EVP, head of corporate banking and specialized financial services at Associated Bank. “Our experience in Chicago and Los Angeles has demonstrated the outstanding quality of the relationship, the high level engagement and achievement of the students and the benefit to our organization and colleagues on an individual level as well as our continued commitment to our community.  We are excited to be a leader on this investment for our students and our community.”