Originally written by Chuck Quirmbach for WUWM 89.7 FM

Two Biden administration cabinet members looked very favorably upon the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP) | BIG STEP organization during recent visits. Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su brought news of more than $1 million for training on building and maintaining electric vehicle charging stations.

At that event in Wauwatosa, Timothy Davis spoke. He’s a WRTP graduate, who has just become a construction wireman. That’s an entry-level position working for an electrical contractor. Davis said growing up, his parents emphasized that he be successful.

“Especially being Black, it’s important,” he told Su, other trainees, construction and training leaders, and the news media.

The trainees and graduates who are Black are trying to succeed in the construction industry where, as of a 2021 study, Black people held just 6% of the jobs—compared to 12% in all industries.

There’s also a big gender gap, with 89% of construction workers being men. But during Yellen’s visit to WRTP, she also met Black carpentry student Tyonna Love.

Love told the cabinet member: “I’m the only female here at BIG STEP at the moment. And, I’m just really representing it. Trying to encourage other females and other young ladies to join the construction field. Hands on! We can do it, too!”

“That’s great,” Yellen replied, shortly before she announced a $1.5 million grant to update and expand the training facility.

Click here to read the full article from WUWM

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