New Real Estate Program Introduces Colored Students to Career Opportunities


New program brought to Milwaukee NAIOP Wisconsin, Marquette University and other industry leaders are keen to showcase high school students of color a plethora of real estate careers.

New real estate exchange, or REEXThe summer program starts on Monday and ends on Friday, 23 July. Students will learn what it takes to design, build, manage, own and sell commercial real estate.

“The reality is that the commercial real estate industry, like any other industry, lacks talent in our portfolio,” said Jim Villa, President and CEO of NAIOP Wisconsin. “We need to build a talent chain for the future of this industry, and as we do that, it makes perfect sense that we will diversify.”

Villa acknowledged that the industry is struggling to diversify its workforce. The REEX program is one of the ways that industry leaders are trying to fix this.

“This is an opportunity to discover the commercial real estate industry, the many benefits to the profession, amassing wealth and building a community for people who might not normally have taken advantage of this opportunity,” Villa said.

It is modeled on the national program, but has a local flavor. In some lessons, students listen to materials from national universities such as Howard and Harvard. But the program attracted volunteers from over 30 local industry professionals.

Volunteers include Heather Turner Lot of Eppstein Uhen Architects, James Phelps of JCP Construction, Jason Korb of Korb + Associates, Milwaukee Development Commissioner Lafayette Crump, Mike Mooney of MLG Capital, Phil Aiello of Mandel Group, and Ivan Gamboa of Tri City National Bank.

About 20 high school and high school students participate in the program. An estimated 150 students across the country are participating in the program, said Mike Riopel, assistant general counsel for real estate investments in Milwaukee. Northwest mutual

Riopel said the goal is to make the program annual. This year it is held virtually, but next year it may be full-time.

“Based on my own experience, my father worked in real estate, and I knew very well that this was the kind of career you could make,” Riopel said. “I came to Marquette and had no intention of specializing in real estate, but I found a real estate program here. It really changed the way I look at my career. This is an opportunity that we are trying to create for high school students – this is epiphany before. “

IN final goal nationally prepare 1,500 students for careers in commercial real estate by 2023.

The curriculum includes a major project designed to give students an idea of ​​what it would be like to remodel a building. They will all draw up a plan to repurpose the historic Legacy Bank building at 2102 W. Fond du Lac Ave. on the north side of Milwaukee.

The Federal Self-Help Credit Union acquired the building during a merger with Seaway Bank & Trust, but vacated it after that. construction of a new branch at 5630 W. Fond du Lac Ave. Credit union exploring the possibilities of redevelopment for the building.

Students also gain important networking opportunities, said Mark Thain, executive vice president of asset management in Milwaukee. Doctors Realty Trust

“Real estate is a lot about access to information and the execution of that information to conclude a deal, conclude a deal (or) close a deal,” Thain said. “So, the network is very important in the real estate industry. And what a great opportunity for high school students, even before they go to college, to start developing a network in the business community. “

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