The EV Skilled Trade Employment Program (EVSTEP) Summary outlines the growing importance of certified pre-apprenticeship training and the development of sustainable career pathways within the clean energy and EV sectors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates an increased need for employees in the clean energy sector in the coming years. They estimate the United States will see a 17% increase in employment for battery manufacturers, 7.1% for electricians, and 5.3% for construction laborers from 2021 to 2031. To meet this demand, WRTP | BIG STEP is requesting $1,500,000 in DOE BIL funds for its EV Skilled Trade Employment Program (EVSTEP) and industry partnerships in Wisconsin.

To produce skilled and diverse workers, EVSTEP will provide specialized certified pre-apprenticeship programs, participant barrier remediation through supportive services, direct pathways to registered apprenticeships, and relevant industry placement assistance. This program aims to tackle the systemic barriers that women, people of color, justice-impacted individuals, and youth face when entering the workforce industry.

Since January 2022, WRTP | BIG STEP has trained 1,617 participants and placed 1,146 of those participants into construction and 215 into manufacturing career pathways. DOE BIL funds would be used to hire qualified instructors and additional program staff, fund supportive services for participants facing barriers to completing training and gaining employment, and provide instructors and participants with materials needed to meet and exceed certified EV charging pre-apprenticeship training requirements.

The success of EVSTEP will positively impact not only the current workforce, but also the community as a whole. WRTP | BIG STEP has previously succeeded in providing the workforce with skilled and ready workers able to meet in-demand needs. With DOE BIL funds, WRTP | BIG STEP and industry partners will be able to answer the call of clean energy and EV charging demands in Wisconsin, while also providing equitable access to family-supporting career pathways to community residents.

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