Six local businesses won the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s inaugural Business Friends of Education award.

Fagan Automotive, Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Riverfront Inc., South Central Wisconsin Builders Association, SSI Technologies, all of Janesville, and MicroPrecision of Delavan were given awards for their commitment to local education, according to a news release from the Department of Public Instruction.

The businesses won under a reconfigured award program designed to encourage partnerships among schools and local business communities, according to the news release.

The department contacted chambers of commerce throughout the state and asked them to encourage their members to apply, explained Tom McCarthy, DPI communications director.

Businesses were given points based on a scoring rubric in categories including career development and awareness; leadership, volunteer and training opportunities; providing services, materials and supplies; and mentoring and hiring youth.

The size of the company also was considered, and smaller companies received a “multiplier” for their scores.

The original Business Friends of Education was started in 2002 and only recognized a small number of recipients, according to the news release.

The program was changed to encourage new partnerships and to make sure businesses are recognized for their efforts.

Local winners include:


  • Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Janesville. The credit union has provided a variety of services to the school district.

The company won a grant from the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation to help offer web-based finance lessons in the Janesville School District. It also purchased 10 iPads to help with the program.


  • MicroPrecision, Delavan. The company has donated money for equipment for the tech ed department at Delavan-Darien High School. Employees have also served on the district’s career and technical education committee.
  • SSI Technologies, Janesville: Has been supportive of the district in a variety of ways.


  • Fagan Automotive, Janesville: Fagan provides apprenticeships for automotive students.
  • Riverfront, Inc.: Provides internships for Janesville high school students.
  • South Central Wisconsin Builders Association: The organization provides an on-site classroom for high school students in the advanced construction process.

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