Career Services for WRTP | BIG STEP2018-12-07T22:04:46+00:00

Career Services 

TUTORING SERVICES

WRTP | BIG STEP’s dedicated team of tutors are here to help you reach your career goals. We offer individualized tutoring to improve your academic skills in preparation for apprenticeship exams and employer assessments.

CAREER COUNSELING

WRTP | BIG STEP is a national leader in developing strong, sustainable career pathways to family-sustaining jobs. Our career counselors work one-on-one with individuals to help guide them on the path that best suits them.

CAREER EXPLORATION

There are dozens of skilled trades in the construction and manufacturing sectors, and the jobs that require these skills are in high demand with high wages. Our staff will help you explore current and future career opportunities in the skilled trades. Learn about the new Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship or explore the building trades.

HANDS ON LEARNING

By working closely with leaders from management and labor, WRTP | BIG STEP provides industry-led training programs that specialize in hands-on learning. These programs train individuals on the skills employers demand from their workforce.

APPRENTICESHIP READINESS

Registered Apprenticeships offer opportunities to earn a salary while learning the skills necessary to succeed in high-demand careers. Not only does WRTP | BIG STEP work with industry leaders to create more of these opportunities, WRTP | BIG STEP helps individuals reach out and achieve them.

RECRUITMENT OPPORTUNITIES

With our accomplishments and our close ties to industry, employers often reach out to WRTP | BIG STEP to recruit our participants for employment because they recognize the quality of these individuals and the training they receive.

COMMUNITY CERTIFICATIONS

To help provide greater employment and training opportunities for City of Milwaukee residents, WRTP | BIG STEP certifies eligible individuals as part of a variety of community programs.

SOFT SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

In addition to the job-specific training programs designed in partnership with industry leaders, WRTP | BIG STEP participants learn soft skills, including interview techniques, conflict management, team building, communication, and leadership.

PLACEMENTS

To provide the placement services of a socially responsible staffing and employment agency, WRTP | BIG STEP formed Triada, which connects businesses with qualified, job-ready candidates to meet their specific needs. Learn more about direct placements through Triada.

YOUTH PROGRAMS

Careers in construction and manufacturing provide youth with the opportunity to earn stable, family-supporting wages without a traditional four-year degree. WRTP | BIG STEP provides opportunities for youth to explore these career pathways and develop the skills and experience needed to succeed in high-demand jobs.

REFERRALS

WRTP | BIG STEP works within a tight network of community-based organizations to connect individuals to additional resources, including driver’s license recovery, GED programs, and others. Attend a resource information session to learn more.

General Information Sessions

If you are looking for a career change or a good family-supporting job, you need to attend one of our information sessions! If you are a serious candidate who is interested in enrolling into our programs, but do not meet the minimal requirements, you may qualify for a referral to receive targeted assistance. You must Bring ID/Driver’s License, Social Security Card, (If a graduate) Proof of Graduation, and Current Resume to attend. If you do not have these materials, or come late you will be asked to reschedule.

Industry Services 

Our mission is to enhance the ability of industry to recruit and develop a diverse, qualified workforce in the construction, manufacturing, and emerging sectors of the regional economy. WRTP | BIG STEP is a workforce development intermediary with an innovative nationally recognized model that is industry led, worker centered, and community focused.

Traditional job training programs focus only on the supply of labor available to industry, ignoring the timely and specific nature of industry’s workforce needs. WRTP | BIG STEP’s strategies and training programs are driven, developed, and conducted based on employer and industry demand. Our model is built on strong, collaborative relationships with industry partners, specifically quality employers that provide family-supporting wages and strong benefits. Our services:

  • Recruit and assess job-ready candidates from a wide range of community-based referral programs
  • Prepare qualified candidates for recruitment and advancement opportunities
  • Offer nationally-renowned employment readiness training opportunities designed by industry
  • Provide placement and retention services that link career- and apprenticeship-ready candidates to the trades and other opportunities

Certified Apprenticeship Program

WRTP | BIG STEP is recognized by the State of Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards as a Certified Pre-Apprenticeship Program. This certification recognizes our high quality, industry-led training programs that give participants the skills they need to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship.

Industrial Manufacturing Technician

IMT is an innovative new hybrid apprenticeship program that combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction and creates a new pathway to family-sustaining careers in manufacturing. With a flexible curriculum based on specific employers’ needs, IMT workers for employers ranging from metal to food production. IMT opens new doors for non-traditional apprentices and journey workers to enter high-paying career in manufacturing. Most of all, IMT helps keep industry innovative and competitive in today’s global market. Click here to visit the official IMT Apprenticeship website.

IMTs set up, test, calibrate, operate, and control manufacturing machinery and equipment using a variety of electrical, electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and computer technologies. Manufacturers seek entry-level workers with skills in: inspection, repair, mathematics, quality assurance and control, preventive maintenance, blueprint and schematic reading, inventory management, equipment testing, and good manufacturing processes. The IMT Registered Apprenticeship focuses on increasing the pipeline of highly qualified and diverse individuals prepared to enter middle- and high-skilled occupations within the growing manufacturing sector. It is a 3,000-hour apprenticeship that trains entry-level workers for IMT positions and promotes their career advancement and standing in higher-skilled apprenticeships. WRTP | BIG STEP provides direct services to employers and apprentices and serves as a clearinghouse, offering e-libraries that aggregate best practices in apprenticeship design and implementation, providing access to information and resources, and offering technical assistance to industry stakeholders.

First Graduating Class: Bermo Inc.

“At a small ceremony at the Circle Pine headquarters of BERMO incorporated 4 of 5 graduates of the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprentice program beamed with pride. BERMO, Inc is a, “premium manufacturer of metal components.” Click here to read article.

Cassandra Patterson: IMT Success Story

 

As part of the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship’s first graduating class, Cassandra Patterson shares her experience with the program and how it is helping her advance in her career. The IMT Registered Apprenticeship focuses on increasing the pipeline of highly qualified and diverse individuals prepared to enter middle- and high-skilled occupations within the growing manufacturing sector. It is a 3,000-hour apprenticeship that trains entry-level workers for IMT positions and promotes their career advancement and standing in higher-skilled apprenticeships. WRTP | BIG STEP provides direct services to employers and apprentices and serves as a clearinghouse, offering e-libraries that aggregate best practices in apprenticeship design and implementation, providing access to information and resources, and offering technical assistance to industry stakeholders.

Construction Industry 

The construction industry has many great pathways to family-sustaining careers. According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, jobs in construction offer an average entry-level wage of $15.93, and experienced workers earn $31.97 per hour on average. With such high wages and low entry-level skill requirements, careers in construction provide a great opportunity to earn higher wages, support a family, and attain a better overall quality of life. Since 1976, BIG STEP has been dedicated to increasing the number of women and minorities employed in the construction industry while helping employers  meet their workforce needs. BIG STEP partnered with the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP) in 2002 to facilitate even better apprenticeship- and career-readiness training opportunities. WRTP | BIG STEP’s strong, collaborative relationships with industry leaders make our mission possible. By working directly with employers, labor leaders, and industry associations, WRTP | BIG STEP offers a variety of services to help develop a more diverse, qualified, and dependable workforce – now and into the future.

The Residential Preference Program

The Residential Preference Program (RPP) helps City of Milwaukee residents gain access to employment opportunities related to various publicly-financed construction projects within the City of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). To learn more about the RPP Certification and its qualifications, please see flyer for details.

Trans Road Building Programs

The Road Building Certificate program is an intensive, non-paid 130-160 hour road construction
preparation program geared towards preparing individuals to meet the workforce needs of contractors*
on specific DOT projects. The program includes the National Building Trades Multi-Craft Core (MC3) training
and certification. To learn more about the TrANS Certificate Program and its qualifications, please see flyer for details.

Attend BIG STEP Orientations

Attending a BIG STEP orientation is your first step to a career in the construction industry. You’ll learn about: apprenticeships in the building trades and the application process; BIG STEP’s apprenticeship readiness tutoring program; entry-level training opportunities; community certifications; and upcoming and ongoing construction projects in the area. Learn about the building trades below, and be sure to register for an orientation session in advance. BIG STEP orientations are currently being held in Madison and Milwaukee. See flyers for more information.

Skilled Trade Opportunities 

Interested in pursuing opportunities in construction but don’t know what career pathway is right for you? The skilled trades offer many great career opportunities, and Registered Apprenticeships provide the pathways into family-sustaining careers. With the help of WRTP | BIG STEP, you can learn how to be successful in apprenticeship programs for the career of your choice.

Apprenticeship Readiness Programs

WRTP | BIG STEP has a dedicated team of tutors who are here to help you reach your career goals. We offer individualized curriculum and small group tutoring to improve your academic skills and succeed in the apprenticeship application and testing process. And through our industry-led model, we work with hundreds of employers to offer training opportunities that prepare you for success in the career of your choice.

Training Programs & Certifications

WRTP | BIG STEP works directly with hundreds of employers and unions to develop training programs that meet regional workforce needs. We have the unique ability to satisfy the specific and timely needs of the construction industry, and our courses are customized based on employer and project needs. These courses include valuable industry-recognized certifications. Courses are developed and facilitated in partnership with labor and contractors. Some industry-led courses include:

  • Entry Level Construction Skills (ELCS)

  • Road Building Skills (TrANS)

  • Asbestos Awareness, Lead Abatement, Lead Renovation

  • Residential Preference Program (RPP) Certification

  • Communities In Need (COIN) Certification

  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)

Skilled Trades

WRTP | BIG STEP works closely with the construction trades Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees to develop and administer certification and training programs that place participants on the pathway to apprenticeships and a successful career in the trade of their choice. Skilled Trades include:

BOILERMAKERS

Boilermakers erect and maintain various types of pressure vessels, and perform some of the following skills: welding, burning, heavy and high rigging, and layout work. A Boilermaker works primarily in plants that are considered heavy industrial. Steel mills, power generation plants for utilities (fossil fuel and nuclear), chemical plants, refineries, and paper mills are just a few of the industries that Boilermakers and their contractors service. Watch Boilermaker Video

BRICKLAYERS & ALLIED CRAFTWORKERS

Bricklayers’ and allied craftworkers’ skills range from bricklaying, plastering, tile laying, terrazzo and marble work, cleaning, pointing and restoration of older buildings, and of course, laying bricks. The apprenticeship program lasts for three years with on-the-job training and classroom work. Watch Bricklayer Video | Watch Tile Laying Video

CARPENTRY

Carpentry apprenticeships include the following trades: Carpenter, Cabinet Maker, Floor Coverer, Lather, Millwright and Piledriver. Their programs are four-years long, require both day and night school classes totaling over 750 hours, and a minimum of 5,800 hours of on-the-job training. Watch Carpenter Video |  Watch Floor Coverer Video | Watch Millwright Video | Watch Piledriver Video

CEMENT MASONS

Cement masons main work is to finish concrete surfaces ranging from small to large projects where as many as 10-50 cement masons and helpers mix, place (pour) and finish concrete in structures. Watch Cement Mason Video

ELECTRICIANS

Electrical apprenticeships provide a diversified training program over a five-year period that includes 1,100 hours of classroom training and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. Watch Electrician Video

GLAZIERS

Glaziers manufacture and install the frames and curtain wall that hold glass. They also install all forms of glass, from mirrors in bathrooms to the exterior of glass skyscrapers and everything in between. Watch Glazier Video

HEAT & FROST INSULATORS

Heat and frost insulators perform thermal insulation application, and offer a four-year apprenticeship program. Watch Insulator Video

IRON WORKERS

Iron workers erect structural steel, place reinforcement bars in concrete construction, move machinery, rig and erect equipment, and install miscellaneous fabricated building materials to name a few of their skill sets. Watch Iron Worker Video

LABORERS

Laborers are often the first trade on a project and the last ones to leave. The job requires you to have physical strength, reading and math skills and good problem-solving abilities. Watch Laborers Video

OPERATING ENGINEERS

Operating engineers operate what is generally referred to as heavy equipment such as cranes, dozers, scrapers, loaders, motor graders, tractor loader backhoes, crawlers, and pavers to name just a few. Watch Operating Engineer Video

PLASTERS

Plasterers must successfully be able to perform the following upon completion of their apprenticeship: Two coat, thin coat, stucco, EIFS and taping drywall. Watch Plasterer Video

PAINTERS, PAPERHANGERS & DRYWALL FINISHERS

Painters, paperhangers and drywall finishers put the finishing touches on new construction and remodeling. They apply paints, special coatings, color, wall coverings, and tape and finishes to previously hung gypsum wall board. Watch Painter Video

PLUMBERS

Plumbers work in residential areas such as homes, apartment buildings, health-care facilities, and in commercial and industrial facilities. Watch Plumber Video

ROOFERS & WATERPROOFERS

Roofers and waterproofers work outdoors in all kinds of weather and heights. Their skills range from applying hot built-up and singly-ply roofing; installing shingle, tile and slate roofs; waterproofing foundations and plazas; and lining ponds and tanks. Watch Roofer Video

SHEET METAL WORKERS

Sheet metal workers are typically employed in the Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) industry where they fabricate, install and maintain HVAC systems. They can also be employed in specialty areas including kitchen equipment, sign work and sheet metal decking and siding to name a few. Watch Sheet Metal Video

SPRINKLERFITTERS

Sprinklerfitters are pipe fitters specializing in fire protection, and they install fire projection systems. They install, repair and maintain all types of fixed piping fire-protection systems. Watch Sprinklerfitter Video

STEAM FITTERS & REFRIGERATION FITTERS

Steamfitters and refrigeration fitters install and service state-of-the art heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning equipment along with related piping and energy management and pneumatic control systems for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Watch Steamfitter Video

Emerging Sectors

 

UTILITIES SECTOR

WRTP | BIG STEP is dedicated to meeting the utility sector’s growing workforce needs by preparing diverse, qualified workers for success in apprenticeships and family-sustaining jobs. With an aging workforce and major ongoing and upcoming construction projects, demand for skilled workers in the utility sector is dramatically increasing.

SEASONAL GAS INSPECTOR TRAINING

Last year, WRTP | BIG STEP partnered with We Energies and United Steel Workers Local 2006 to design and implement a specialized training class for seasonal natural gas inspectors. Combining classroom instruction with intensive field work, the 8-week course ensures that students receive the latest and most relevant knowledge and skills from industry experts to meet job requirements and be prepared to advance in the industry. The program is designed so that individuals who successfully complete the training have opportunities to find jobs that pay a starting wage of over $20 per hour. In February 2016, the first class of seasonal natural gas inspector trainees graduated and most were hired immediately by We Energies.

BIG STEP 

BIG STEP (Building Industry Group Skilled Trades Employment Program) is an apprenticeship readiness tutoring and training program dedicated to helping community residents prepare for and succeed in careers in the construction trades.

Attend BIG STEP Orientations

Attending a BIG STEP orientation is your first step to a career in the construction industry. You’ll learn about: apprenticeships in the building trades and the application process; BIG STEP’s apprenticeship readiness tutoring program; entry-level training opportunities; community certifications; and upcoming and ongoing construction projects in the area. Learn about the building trades below, and be sure to register for an orientation session in advance. BIG STEP orientations are currently being held in Madison and Milwaukee. See flyers for more information.

Greater Milwaukee 

The Center of Excellence for the Skilled Trades and Industry is located at 3841 W. Wisconsin Ave. To get started toward a career in manufacturing, construction, or emerging sectors call (414) 937-3600 and sign up for a BIG STEP orientation.

Southeast Wisconsin 

WRTP | BIG STEP is now serving Racine and Kenosha. Find out about available training opportunities by calling (414) 342-9787.

South Central Wisconsin 

To learn more about careers in construction in the Madison area, contact Bill Clingan at (608) 255-0155 and sign up for a BIG STEP orientation.

St. Paul Minnesota

Find out more about WRTP | BIG STEP and its work in Minnesota by contacting Jerome Balsimo at (651) 335-2896.

Looking For Something  Different 

WRTP | BIG STEP is industry-led, worker-centered and community-focused. Our mission is to enhance the ability of private sector organizations to recruit and develop a more diverse, qualified workforce in construction, manufacturing and emerging sectors of the regional economy. Click below to view our additional services.

EMPLOYER

Our mission is to enhance the ability of industry to recruit and develop a diverse, qualified workforce in the construction, manufacturing, and emerging sectors of the regional economy.

CAREER SERVICES

WORKER

Career services with special emphasis on apprenticeship readiness training & tutoring to help prepare for the necessary apprenticeship qualifying tests in the skilled trades.

TRIADA STAFFING SERVICES

TRIADA

Triada Employment Services, LLC provides staffing services to companies in Southeastern Wisconsin seeking fully trained skilled employees as well as entry level candidates.

YOUTH PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

YOUTH

WRTP/BIG STEP offers a model of youth career development that is closely linked to industry demands and gives young people access to high quality work experience.

Industry Led & Worker Centered

By being industry led, worker centered, and community focused, WRTP | BIG STEP helps under-employed, under-served, and under-represented individuals succeed in well-paying careers while exceeding industry’s workforce needs.

TAKE A MOMENT TO INVEST IN OUR FUTURE WORKFORCE.

DONATE TO WRTP | BIG STEP
WRTP | BIG STEP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit workforce intermediary dedicated to connecting people to family-sustaining jobs.
Our mission is to enhance the ability of public and private sector organizations to recruit, develop, and retain a more diverse, qualified workforce in construction, manufacturing and emerging sectors of the regional economy.
WRTP was initially created to renew our traditional industrial base in the Milwaukee area during the 1990s. The recovery of manufacturing, retirement of an aging workforce, and diversification of the regional economy created a growing skills shortage by the end of the decade. In response to this threat to economic growth and prosperity, we created our successful model of pre-employment training for job seekers to qualify for family-sustaining jobs in the industrial sector.
Supported by public, private, and philanthropic investments, WRTP | BIG STEP’s mission is to assist economically disadvantaged minorities, women, and youth (primarily from the central-city) develop the skills needed to participate meaningfully in the workforce and share in the area economy while ensuring that member companies have the skilled workers needed to prosper and grow in a competitive global economy.