Jumpstart Your Career


Jumpstart Your Career2021-08-04T01:49:53-05:00



WRTP | BIG STEP’s mission is to prepare economically disadvantaged minorities, women, and youth (primarily from the central city) to participate meaningfully in the workforce and share in the area economy. We coordinate employer-driven worker readiness to ensure that individuals gain the skills and experiences that employers need. We do this with support from public, private, and philanthropic investments.



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.

WRTP | BIG STEP’s dedicated team of tutors offers individualized tutoring to improve your academic skills in preparation for apprenticeship exams and employer assessments.

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

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.

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

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, we help individuals reach out and achieve them.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.



To learn about how WRTP | BIG STEP can connect you to training and employment opportunities in construction, manufacturing, and other emerging sectors, we encourage you to attend one of our General Information Sessions. Bring your ID/driver’s license, Social Security Card, proof of graduation (if you are a graduate), and current resume to attend. If you do not have these materials or arrive late, you will be asked to reschedule. If you are interested in enrolling in our programs but you do not meet the minimal requirements, you may qualify for a referral to receive targeted assistance.



If you already know you’re interested in a career in the building trades, join us for one of our BIG STEP Orientation Sessions. Pre-registration is required; walk-ins are not accepted. For more information, call us at (414) 342-9787 or email us at milwaukee@wrtp.org.

BIG STEP Requirements:

  • 18 years old
  • High school diploma/GED/HSED
  • Physically fit with a good general medical history
  • Valid driver’s license


WRTP | BIG STEP launched the Center of Excellence for Skilled Trades & Industry in 2006 to develop programs for major projects in the region and to address the skills shortage in the industrial sector. WRTP | BIG STEP’s strategies effectively increase minority (60%) and female (14%) representation in the skilled trades. More than just a physical location, the Center of Excellence serves as a clearinghouse for the assessment, preparation, and placement of job-ready candidates for careers in construction, manufacturing and other emerging sectors. Not only does the facility serve as a single location providing career pathways for job seekers, it also meets the needs of employers/unions looking to hire a diverse set of qualified candidates as well as any community partners seeking to place their clients in family-supporting jobs.



Triada Employment Services, LLC is a full service staffing and employment services company formed by WRTP | BIG STEP. Triada provides entry-level and experienced workers with access to great, consistent career opportunities and union membership—it does so by conducting assessment and training through a number of skills and career development programs. Triada also improves the quality of employment by providing benefits to employees who haven’t had them in the past.

All employers are thoroughly assessed to ensure high levels of employee satisfaction and retention. Candidates with existing skills and experience can feel confident that Triada will place them in a position that will allow them to utilize and grow these skills in their fields of expertise.  For information on training programs and employment opportunities, please contact Triada at (414) 342-9787 or triada@wrtp.org.



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 with the help of WRTP | BIG STEP, you can learn how to be successful in apprenticeship programs for the career of your choice. We are recognized by the State of Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards as a Certified Pre-Apprenticeship Program, which means that our high-quality, industry-led training programs give participants the skills they need to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship.

We offer individualized curriculum and small group tutoring to improve your academic skills and succeed in the apprenticeship application and testing process. BIG STEP works closely with the construction trades’ Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees to develop our programs. Click here for the full list of participating construction trades. 

WRTP | BIG STEP works directly with hundreds of employers and unions to develop training programs that meet regional workforce needs—for both specific employers and projects. We have the unique ability to satisfy the specific and timely needs of the construction industry. Our courses, which are developed and facilitated in partnership with labor and contractors, include valuable industry-recognized certifications. 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)

The Residential Preference Program (RPP) helps 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, contact us today.

The Road Building Certificate program is an intensive, non-paid 130 – 160 hour road construction preparation program that prepares 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.

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, we help individuals reach out and achieve them.

The annual industry needs assessment directly engages manufacturing leaders to identify emerging issues and strategize on solutions to industry trends. WRTP | BIG STEP developed IMT in response to issues identified in that process: working alongside industry leaders, WRTP | BIG STEP identified the need for specific skills inside plants and realized that the IMT apprenticeship could answer industry needs.

IMT is an innovative, hybrid apprenticeship program that combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction. With a flexible curriculum based on specific employers’ needs, participants work for employers ranging from metal to food production. IMT opens new doors for non-traditional apprentices and helps keep industry innovative and competitive in today’s global market. Click here to visit the official IMT Apprenticeship website.




WRTP | BIG STEP wants to keep you in the know! Keep up-to-date on our social media, thought leadership, media mentions, success stories, training programs, and job opportunities.

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