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MIAD develops first-of-its-kind Designship Program to address gap for Wisconsin employers and designers

Feb 1, 2018

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) is introducing a first-of-its kind apprenticeship program for design graduates throughout Wisconsin. The newly created DesignshipSM program is the first apprenticeship management training program for designers to be offered in the country. MIAD is also the first design college to take apprenticeships to a professional level. This professional development program fills a void in management training for designers in all organizations. The success of this program will help companies retain creatives, equip designers for leading roles in the growing creative economy, and give Wisconsin an edge as the hub for design talent.

Designship“We saw a need in our industry to help drive the creative economy,” said Jeffrey Morin, president of MIAD. “This program builds off of our college’s long-term success of collaborating with businesses in undergraduate mentoring, projects, internships and hiring. The success of this program will improve southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and reduce demand for outsourced employment.”

In the 2,000-hour, on-the-job training experience, design graduates become design apprentices at companies where they will gain critical organizational skills such as leading projects, communicating successfully with clients and across the company, working effectively in teams, learning the different departmental functions, and conforming to the company’s culture and processes.

“At Microsoft, like any other company, we are always looking for the best talent, beyond finding good skilled employees, you want talent who can also lead projects,” said David Nelson, senior director of design, principal at Microsoft and a MIAD graduate. “Designers are not often trained to be leaders. This is a good jump start for designers and fills a significant gap in our industry. A program like Designship could be a significant contributor to growing the impact design has in evolving businesses.”

This program is possible through a $3 million American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) grant from the United States Department of Labor.

Companies seeking to partner with the Designship program should contact or 414‑847‑3219.

For more info, see the full press release or visit the Designship websiteFacebook or Twitter.

Read more from the BizTimes and the Milwaukee Business Journal.