MKE Tech Coalition’s Award-Winning Summer Bootcamp is Back

Designed for students in any major with a focus on the Ethics and Impact of Data and Artificial Intelligence

MILWAUKEE (April, 2022) – The MKE Tech Coalition is once again offering a unique summer bootcamp experience designed in partnership with an Industry Advisory Board representing HealthTech, FinTech and Advanced Manufacturing companies.  Students from any major are encouraged to apply.  In 2021, the Coalition received 140 applications from students at over 40 different schools with 87% identifying with a group historically underrepresented in tech.  Admitted students receive a full scholarship to attend thanks to the generosity of the Coalition’s member organizations.  Event sponsorships are available for the launch event in June at Ward4 and the community showcase event in August at the Fiserv Forum.

“According to a 2021 Emsi report, 26% of AI and Machine Learning skills are currently coming from entry level talent. But there are only so many undergraduate degrees that have a focus on these skills which necessitates a new way of thinking.  Democratizing data and artificial intelligence education is critical.  We wanted to advance that work in WI,” said Laura Schmidt, chief talent development officer at MKE Tech Hub Coalition. “The level of regional collaboration involved in developing and executing this early talent program is a testament to its relevance as we consider how we prepare students for the future of work in a digital economy.”

FUSE teaches students the impact data and artificial intelligence have on industries across Southeastern Wisconsin as well as society, civic life and the environment. Through the program, students learn the nature, behavior, power and consequences of technology from a real-world perspective as well as how important diverse backgrounds and perspectives are to the development of technological solutions. Students learn tech skills in Excel and Power BI, Python, etc. and are taught how to capture, discern, and tell a compelling story in order to make informed business decisions and find solutions for civic issues. They are taught how to explain and mitigate unintentional bias in technological solutions.  Students are also given the opportunity to develop peer and professional network connections as they prepare for their future careers.

“This program provides an opportunity for students to access a pre-professional experience that might not otherwise be possible for them.  Those that successfully complete this program show a passion for learning that our companies expect within their early talent pipeline.”  said Schmidt.

The MKE Tech Coalition continues to develop strategic partnerships in SE WI to help our members inclusively expand the tech talent pipeline in SE WI.  In 2022, they are partnering with The Commons, Rex Academy and the Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA) to ensure a high quality program that provides a benefit to students and employers alike.   Gabe Wright, MSOE, serves as the curriculum advisor.  The Higher Education Regional Alliance has approved and awards a Foundations in Data and AI badge that demonstrates the knowledge the students gain from the program and the strong skillset they can offer to the region’s employers.

“This is a critical step in achieving HERA’s goal of better aligning, evolving and innovating educational programs so they better meet the needs of Southeastern Wisconsin’s rapidly changing economy,” said Dr. Phyllis King, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW-Milwaukee and HERA member. “Many of our industry partners shared the need they have for more talent in data and AI amongst all industries. We are proud to partner with the MKE Tech Coalition to offer and explore the potential of expanding this program in the future. With the Foundations in Data and AI badge certification, students can now showcase the knowledge they need to fill the jobs of tomorrow.”

For more information about the MKE Tech Hub Coalition and its FUSE program, please visit:  Media inquiries can be sent to Laura Schmidt, chief talent development officer,  Inquiries regarding sponsorships and/or promotional materials can be sent to

About MKE Tech Hub Coalition

The MKE Tech Hub Coalition is a non-profit membership organization that serves as a unifying voice for the Milwaukee tech ecosystem. We are committed to inclusively doubling the tech workforce in southeastern Wisconsin to drive economic success and innovation in the region. To achieve this bold milestone, the Coalition brings together companies, entrepreneurs, educators, community organizations and other individuals invested in growing tech talent and innovation in the region.

About The Commons

The Commons is an initiative of The Greater Milwaukee Committee, a non-profit civic organization dedicated to making the region the best place to live, learn, work, play and stay. The Commons crafts unique innovation experiences that develop leaders, inspire curiosity, celebrate diversity, produce meaningful impact, and build professional connections.

About Rex Academy

Rex Academy offers a concise, turnkey computer science curriculum and learning platform designed to prepare students with 21st-century skills. Rex Academy’s project-based curriculum prioritizes student success through individualized experiences.

About Higher Education Regional Alliance

The Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA) is a talent producing collaboration with 18 southeastern Wisconsin public and private, two- and four-year colleges and universities and a network of partner organizations. We are dedicated to closing achievement gaps and educating students today to become an innovative and nimble workforce that meets the needs of the region’s industries tomorrow.