Our History2021-10-28T10:16:28+00:00
WRTP

WRTP | BIG STEP

OUR BEGINNINGS

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 1990s. The Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP) was created to respond to these challenges and has since served as a successful model of pre-employment training for job seekers to qualify for family-sustaining jobs in the industrial sector. The Building Industry Group Skilled Trade Employment Program (BIG STEP) was created in the 1970s to increase the number of women, minorities, and younger workers employed in the building trades. WRTP specializes in the development of hands-on, group-size pre-employment training certificate programs, while BIG STEP focuses on individualized tutoring in academic skills for apprenticeship exams.

A NATIONAL LEADER

The success of WRTP | BIG STEP has established us as a national leader in developing sector-based, creative workforce solutions by bringing together both resources and partners in their efforts to help their members. With a dual-customer approach, the model is not just about retaining jobs in a community but also maintaining the competitiveness of the companies that provide those jobs.

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WRTP | BIG STEP

THE JOURNEY

WRTP specializes in the development of hands-on, group-size pre-employment training certificate programs, while BIG STEP focuses on individualized tutoring in academic skills for apprenticeship exams. Explore the path that led the two organizations to join forces:

June 1976

1976

BIG STEP is founded, evolving from the efforts started in 1967 by Vince Toran and Project Leap.

January 1992

1992

The Commission on a Quality Workforce recommends the development of partnerships between business, labor, and government to renew the industrial base in the Milwaukee area, and WRTP is born.

April 1997

1997

WRTP receives funds from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to develop a model program in manufacturing training.

January 2000

2000

WRTP is awarded a demonstration grant from the United States Department of Labor to replicate the program in other sectors of the nation.

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