Adult Apprenticeship Programs
Apprenticeships are post-secondary education like a college or university, which train you for a career in the skilled trades. Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 18, although many programs require a high school diploma or GED. Apprentices learn only a portion of their skills in a traditional classroom. They receive most of their training on-the-job, while getting a paycheck.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development oversees apprenticeship programs, and the approved construction apprenticeship programs include the following trades:
To learn more go to https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship/construction_trades.htm.
Many of the skilled trades have apprenticeship programs specifically for veterans, including C2C and VIP.
Combat to Construction (C2C)
Sponsored by Operating Engineers Local 139, the Combat to Construction program helps veterans, returning veterans, reservists, and National Guard members obtain the basic skills needed to operate heavy equipment.
The nine-week course includes two weeks of classroom learning at the Operating Engineers Training Facility in Coloma, WI and the balance of the program learning on the job with a union employer.
Veterans in Piping (VIP)
Sponsored by the Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association, the Veterans in Piping program helps veterans, returning veterans, reservists, and National Guard members obtain the basic skills needed for a rewarding career within the pipe trades.
The 18-week program includes six weeks of classroom and twelve weeks of on-the-job-learning with union employers.
Youth Apprenticeship Programs, Education and Outreach
Many young people have a misconception that construction work is low-skill and low-pay. Construction careers are high tech, require specialized training and skill, and pay very well. There are many opportunities for high school students to explore a career in the constriction trades.
The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin sponsors the Trade Up campaign. The campaign raises awareness for students, parents and educators about careers in the construction sector. The campaign provides information and statistics regarding job growth, wages, skills and education in the construction trades, http://wdbscw.org/trade-up/.
Some trades have high school curriculum—called pre-apprenticeship education—to help prepare students for an adult apprenticeship. For example, the Wisconsin Operating Engineers are partners in Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin. This is the first online public charter school to offer CTE courses that allow students statewide to prepare for an apprenticeship with the Wisconsin Operating Engineers, http://www.buildingwisconsintogether.com/building-careers/for-parents/.
There are even several youth apprenticeship programs, which allow students to train for a career and earn money while still in high school, https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/youthapprenticeship/programs.htm#.