Construction on Wisconsin Ave.

Due to the construction on Wisconsin Ave., which will block 38th Street, we are directing everyone to arrive at our building from the south (Michigan St.). A map below has additional directions (or download the map here for better viewing):

Our Mission

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.

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.

The Latest

Bradley Tech MC3 Graduating Class

On May 16, we graduated our Bradley Tech MC3 class. The course was taught by an MC3 instructor and sponsored by the Milwaukee Bucks, with the curriculum being the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum.

WRTP/BIG STEP Mentioned in Cap Times

“Women make up just 4 percent of the national workforce in natural resources, construction and maintenance, according to 2010 Bureau of Labor statistics data. In Wisconsin, women make up 5 percent of the 10,251 active apprenticeships in the trades, according to Department of Workforce Development data as of April 4.

Though local organizations like Big Step are working to close the gender gap, barriers to entry and retention still exist. Women say lack of awareness, persistent gender stereotypes, responsibilities at home and few examples of women entering the trades can be deterrents.”

Read the full article here.

Recruiting for next HSED-MC3 Class for June!

The next class starts in June! Give us a call if you’re interested in learning more.

Download the full flyer here.

WRTP/BIG STEP welcomes Delegation of African Workforce Leaders

We had the great opportunity to host a group of workforce leaders from several African countries to discuss innovative workforce practices. They visited here April 19th as guests of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP).

Racine Office Open for Business!

“I know people from Racine are hard-working, good people,” said Racine Mayor Cory Mason. “If you give the skills, and the opportunity, they will succeed. That’s what today is really about – BIG STEP and Gateway, together with the city and the county, are going to blow the doors of opportunity wide open so that average working-class people right here in the city of Racine can walk right through there and succeed.”

An opening ceremony was held April 9 for the new WRTP/BIG STEP office at Gateway Technical College in downtown Racine. The new office will expand the reach of WRTP/BIG STEP and the services offered at the Gateway Racine campus, with the aim of training workers for the skilled trades.

The Wisconsin Building Trades Council donated $100,000 to WRPT/BIG STEP as a sign of the group’s commitment to back the training that will be ongoing at the group’s new office at its new Gateway’s Racine Campus location. Terry McGowan, President and business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 and a member of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board, presented the check, while telling the audience, “This is a sign of our commitment to get this thing done and build it right.”

As WRTP/BIG STEP President and CEO Mark Kessenich stated, “They know they need to have a talent pipeline, they know they will have to respond to the demands of the Foxconn project and everything related to that. So, it’s about industry bringing BIG STEP to Racine and forging that partnership in order to connect residents to career opportunities in the trades.”

Training is offered free of charge. Interested participants can learn more by calling 262-619-6560.

Hunter Scott on Becoming an IMT Graduate

Hunter Scott, a recent graduate of the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) apprenticeship and now proud journey IMT is living proof that challenging yourself as an adult learner brings great gifts. Hunter had been working for Ocean Spray for over ten years, when the IMT was introduced at a union/ management meeting; he wanted to upgrade his skills.

Read the full story here.

New IMT Graduates in Minnesota!

“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.” ”

Read the full article here.

Graduating Our First Class of HSED-MC3 Graduates

It is well documented that 39% of students in Milwaukee schools are not graduating each year. In Milwaukee, 19.8% of the population age 25 and over have not completed high school and 9,000 young adults are added to this group each year. To address this issue Literacy Services of Wisconsin and WRTP/BIG STEP designed the PI 5.09 High School Equivalent Diploma (HSED) program, which also enrolls participants in an apprenticeship readiness program (the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum), helping them break into the construction and manufacturing fields. The instruction is tailored to students’ individual abilities and goals and customized to the employer’s specific qualification standards utilizing WRTP/BIG STEP’s employer partnerships to further chances for advanced employment. This competency-based HSED, which is approved by the Department of Public Instruction, provides participants with an integrated, seamless path to follow toward earning one of the many manufacturing or construction jobs looming on the horizon in Southeast Wisconsin.