MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Public Market is partnered with Milwaukee Public Schools and its School-To-Work Transition Program.

It’s a program that helps high school students make the transition into the working world.

“I did learn to be a gentleman, respect, take orders, ask people for help or they ask me for help,” said Steven Daniels, School-To-Work graduate and senior at Pulaski High School, Milwaukee.

Daniels has a part-time job at Foltz Market, one of the vendors at Milwaukee Public Market. He earned the position after completing an internship in the School-To-Work program.

Paul Schwartz is the Market’s executive director. He says he’s proud his organization can make a difference in young people’s lives.

Many kids in the program have disabilities and might otherwise not be given a chance.

The MPS partnership is one of the Milwaukee Public Market’s many collaborations.

Paul Schwartz, executive director of Milwaukee Public Market. (Spectrum News 1/Wendy Strong)

For instance, it partners with local businesses to offer cooking and mixology workshops and serves as a venue for many local special events.

The Market also has outdoor live music, featuring Milwaukee musicians, in the warmer months and opens an ice-skating rink in the winter.

 “The market was designed obviously to support the small businesses here at the Market but founded on the economic principle of being an economic multiplier,” said Schwartz.

He said he hopes that when people visit the Public Market, they’ll end up heading out to explore Milwaukee’s Third Ward or the city’s downtown area.

Dania Gibson, senior at Milwaukee High School of the Arts and part of the MPS School-To-Work Transition Program. (Spectrum News 1/Wendy Strong)

Schwartz said, despite the pandemic, 2022 was a record year for the Milwaukee Public Market with $25-million in sales and 2-million visitors. The Market opened in 2005.

“I think one of the things I love about this place is that we not only have become a destination for residents in the Milwaukee area, but we are a must see for out of towners,” said Schwartz.

To donate to the Milwaukee Public Schools, School-To-Work Transition Program, click here.