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Campaign increases awareness of skilled trade careers

Published On: Oct 13 2013 02:25:02 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis -

An awareness campaign to educate high school students, parents and educators on skilled trade career pathways and apprenticeships available in the area has been announced.

The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin announced the partnership, called Trade Up, with area trade organizations and 16 Dane County high school districts.

Trade Up features a collection of print and interactive media for eight trade careers including electricians, sheet metal workers, steamfitters, painters, drywall finishers, plumbers, laborers, bricklayers and iron workers, according to a release. Students, parents and educators can access workforce information on any of the trades and can watch videos to understand the nature of the work.

The program plans to bring more visibility to skilled trades, Clay Tschillard, a WDBSCW board member, said in the release.

“There’s probably never been a better time for a young person to consider a career in the skilled trades. The industry is growing and there’s a need for skilled trades professional right here in Wisconsin,” Tschillard said. “We’re thrilled to be part of an initiative to help students and young adults see that apprenticeships in the skilled trades can lead to satisfying and financially stable careers.”

Pat Schramm, executive director of the WDB, said that the campaign is a collaborative way to get businesses, education and communities involved in preparing the next generation of workforce.

According to Sheila Hibner, a representative for Monona Grove High School student services, there is a need to make construction trades career pathway options more visible in high schools.

“This campaign gives our students the opportunity to interact with a set of careers that will offer them great opportunity and a sustainable wage,” Hibner said. “Trade Up brings more visibility to the trades as career options, as well as helped schools learn more about apprenticeship programs.”

The Trade Up campaign will run through May 2014, according to a release.

The local trade organizations participating include Wisconsin NECA-IBEW Electrical Apprenticeship and Training, Madison Area Bricklayers Joint Apprenticeship Council, Wisconsin Laborers Apprenticeship & Training Fund, Madison Area Ironworking Joint Apprenticeships Committee, IUPAT District Council 7, Plumbers Local 75 Education Fund, SMART-Local 18 and Steamfitters Local 601.

The participating schools districts include Belleville, Cambridge, Deerfield, DeForest, Madison, Marshall McFarland, Middleton, Mt. Horeb, Oregon, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Verona, Waunakee and Wisconsin Heights.

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