MILWAUKEE, WI (April 5, 2022) – WRTP | BIG STEP (WRTP) and the Milwaukee Building & Construction Trades Council (MBCTC) have been awarded the prestigious Mark H. Ayer’s Award by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). NABTU announced the award recently in response to the ongoing work by WRTP and MBCTC to engage women in careers in the trades.


Mark H. Ayers was an American Labor leader and president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department from 2007 until his death in 2012. The award was established to recognize and honor programs and individuals that expand, grow, and open new doors that provide opportunities for all.

“WRTP | BIG STEP is honored to receive such an accolade,” said Lindsay Blumer, WRTP’s President & CEO. “Not only are we thrilled to receive this recognition and honor from NABTU alongside our friends at MBCTC, but we’re also grateful to be doing work that truly makes a difference in the lives of others, specifically women looking for fulfilling careers in the trades.”

This award comes on the heels of a recent WANTO (Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations) Grant, with which WRTP has formed the disruptHER Consortium, which aims to create a more robust and innovative pathway to help women engage and succeed in apprenticeships and nontraditional occupations.


The Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP) was created in the 1990s to renew Milwaukee’s traditional industrial base after the recovery of manufacturing, retirement of an aging workforce, and diversification of the regional economy created a growing skills shortage. Since combining with the Building Industry Group Skilled Trades Employment Program (BIG STEP) to form WRTP | BIG STEP, we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit workforce intermediary dedicated to connecting people to family-sustaining jobs.

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