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Fresh Start Focus

August 2023


๐Ÿ’ผ New career training program

On Monday, September 25, we will be welcoming participants for a new program! CareerPoint will consist of eight weeks of part-time essential skills training on topics like communication and workplace etiquette, followed by full-time job training. Participants will be paid a stipend and transition into a full-time career after successful completion of the job training.

The first CareerPoint cohort will train and work as tellers, exploring a career path in financial services in partnership with UW Credit Union! Applications to enroll are due by Friday, September 8.


๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿ’ผ ED retiring in spring

Greg Markle, Executive Director at OFS, will be retiring in the spring of 2024 after 13 years. The OFS Board of Directors is establishing a hiring committee for an inclusive and transparent search process for the next ED in the coming months. In the meantime, Greg will continue leading OFS with the same commitment, integrity, and focus he has practiced in the last 13 years. READ MORE...


๐ŸŒฑ Ascendium awards $300k grant

Thank you to Ascendium Education Group for supporting OFS with a $300,000 grant to improve and expand training focused on climate-related fields in conservation and the trades! Young adults will be able to enter these growing green careers with the right skills and certifications made possible because of this support. LEARN MORE...


๐ŸŽ“ Legacy graduation!

Congratulations to Syenna for graduating from the OFS Legacy program and earning her high school diploma from Madison West High School!

โ€œThere's a lot of growth that happens with the young people here,โ€ said Grace, Syennaโ€™s supervisor, โ€œEverybody grows at least a little bit. It's been amazing to watch her in this program and see her hit her stride.โ€

โ€œMy graduation is a day I thought Iโ€™d never see and never work for,โ€ recounted Syenna in her graduation speech, โ€œIโ€™m beyond thankful for Operation Fresh Start. When I first came to OFS, I had a tough start. I struggled with realizing that this is no longer school. Itโ€™s a professional work environment. I can't even put into words how thankful I am that Grace saw my potential.โ€

๐Ÿ“ท Thank you to Jim Barnard Photography for Syenna's senior photos!


๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Latest Build Academy projects

Build Academy participants have been installing new siding on this private residential home, which was also reroofed by Build Academy a few years ago.

Our new construction house in Deerfield, WI is coming along beautifully! BA participants have stayed busy with cement pouring, siding, drywalling, and patio/deck construction.


๐Ÿ‘‹ Welcome new OFS staff

Ian Williams-Lohr (he/him)

Conservation Supervisor

(2017 Legacy alum)

Mckenzie Newman (she/her)

HR Administrator


๐Ÿ’™ Thank you to Baker Tilly

Thank you to these hardworking folks from Baker Tilly for spending a day volunteering with one of our Legacy conservation crews! They worked in Eastmoreland Park, behind Woodmanโ€™s Milwaukee Street location, removing invasive Burdock and cutting out non-oak saplings like Buckthorn to cultivate a native oak prairie.


Thank you for helping OFS empower emerging adults on their path to self-sufficiency!

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