Career Development & Placement

The goal of Career Development is to help lower-income youth aspire to career-track employment and to acquire the skills and strategies they need to achieve this goal. This process begins with the very first application interview, in which the young person is asked to think about career goals. Shortly after enrollment, the participant begins to meet with an OFS staff member to develop career concepts. Participants learn to distinguish between entry level and advanced positions and to match their interests and aptitudes to employment options. They explore occupations in current and future local demand, such as nursing, advanced manufacturing, printing, construction and automotive. They learn how to research job availability; skill and credential requirements; and, advancement potential. The outcome of career exploration is a “map” of short, intermediate, and long-term goals – benchmarks for specific job or educational placement readiness.


As their career concepts mature, OFS participants begin job shadowing and auditing courses at Madison College. They enroll in short-term credential courses in jobs such as welding and certified nursing assistant; take on part-time work; enroll in introductory classes at Madison College, and, attend job fairs to prepare for placement in jobs or enroll in post-secondary education programs.


Recent OFS graduates have found jobs in private sector occupations in advanced manufacturing, the building trades, and healthcare. Examples of local employers who have hired OFS graduates in the last 12 months include:

  • JH Findorff & Son
  • UW Health
  • Stevens Construction
  • Infinity High Purity Systems
  • Prairie Masonry
  • Springs Window Fashions
  • Avalon Senior Care
  • RenewAir. LLC
  • Harbor House Assisted Living
  • DHL Delivery Service
  • ALO Sustainable Restoration Solutions

Other OFS graduates enter higher educational programs leading to career track employment. Recent graduates have entered:

  • Herzing Institute in Design & Drafting Technology
  • Madison Media Institute in Digital Media Design & Production
  • UW-Madison School of Pharmacy (transfer from Madison College)
  • Madison College in Early Childhood Education
  • Madison College in Automotive Technician Program
  • Madison College in the Certified Nursing Assistant Program
  • Madison College in the Animation Concept Development Program