February 2024 Thank you for reading and supporting us!

Announcing our new ED!

We are thrilled to announce that Brian McMahon, current OFS Deputy Director, has been chosen as the next Executive Director!

Following a comprehensive search process that began in the summer of 2023, which involved the review of 88 applications and 19 Zoom interviews conducted by our search agency, QTI. The search committee then evaluated 13 candidates and selected four for interviews. After those interviews, they chose two finalists. The search committee is delighted to share that Brian emerged as the top candidate. His dedication, experience, and vision for OFS stood out among the applicants.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the search committee members, led by Salli Martyniak, for their diligent efforts and thoughtful consideration throughout the selection process. Committee members included: Trish Howen, Beverly Hutcherson, David Lehrer, David Lonsdorf, Salli Martyniak, Erica Nelson, and Jeff Russell.  

Brian brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to the mission. We are confident that under his leadership, OFS will continue to thrive and make a meaningful impact in our community.

Please join us in congratulating Brian on his new role and offering him your full support as he transitions into the position starting March 18, 2024!


🎓 Celebrating graduation

Congratulations to Dez for graduating from Legacy and earning his high school diploma from Madison Metropolitan School District! Dez came to us from Madison East High School.

In his speech, Dez said, “I’d like to thank my teachers for pushing me through my problems. The more y’all motivated me, explained the assignments to me, the more I got it done. I would like to thank everybody for being there for me, y'all motivated me to keep moving forward.”

Miles, Dez’s crew supervisor, said, “Reflecting on all the hard work that you've done, I hope you can feel as proud of yourself as we all are, standing up here in front of your entire OFS family. Even if stuff’s going on at home and outside of OFS, he still comes in with that same mentality that he signed up for when he first interviewed for Legacy.”

We’re excited to share that Dez is staying with OFS as he transitions into Build Academy, our advanced construction training program! He will be bringing a great work ethic and compassionate leadership with him.

📣 Program Open House

Tuesday, Feb 27, 3:00-5:00 PM

Learn more about our free programs for young adults ages 16-24. You'll be able to learn about each program, meet program coordinators, and tour the building! This is also a great opportunity for interested volunteers and donors to learn more.


🏠 Build Academy Open House

Thursday, March 7, 2:30-4:00 PM

Tour our Build Academy's newest house in Deerfield, WI! Speeches will begin at 3:00 pm. This house was built from the ground up by 30 young people over the last year enrolled in Build Academy, an advanced training program for young adults ages 18-24 pursuing a self-sustaining career in the trades. Only the plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and gutter work was contracted out.

Special thanks to our partners County Materials, Stevens Construction, Fabick Rents, Jaeckle Distributors, Wisconsin Economic Development, and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.


🖥️ Exploring jobs

Adam is a CareerScape participant interested in a career related to computer hardware. He received a tour of Cascade Asset Management with the opportunity to see computers being disassembled for recycling and refurbished for resale. Big thanks to Aaron, Chris, and Jesse for showing him the nuts and bolts of the operation!

📰 Addressing labor shortages

Zoe Jaeger, a UW-Madison student journalist, recently published an article highlighting Build Academy!

“After almost a two-generation vacuum of Americans who just have not gone into blue collar work, I see this country facing a critical infrastructure issue. The only way to solve it is to prepare young people to enter the trades.”

Indeed, Wisconsin’s builders are aging, with one in five laborers being 55 or older, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin. 

Nationally, the application rate for young people seeking technical jobs, such as building or electrical work, dropped by half...READ MORE.

Build Academy crew replacing decks at the Jenni & Kyle Preserve in Fitchburg.

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

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