In Northwest Wisconsin, the construction industry is projected to see growth in several occupations. From 2014 – 2024, Construction Laborers and Operating Engineers are expected to increase by 18% and 15%, respectively. Most of these high growth, high wage occupations only require short term training. To help supply employers in this industry with a future pipeline of workers, the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board (NWWIB) and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) have partnered together to offer a training called Construction Essentials.
During the Construction Essentials, students gained the knowledge and skills necessary for job success in the construction industry. Over the course of the 10-week program, students worked together while learning about and applying various skills and techniques to build two storage sheds. Both sheds were donated to two Ashland area non-profits, including Ashland Parks and Recreation and the New Day Shelter.
A total of eight participants are enrolled in the course, which will conclude on June 23, 2017. Participants who complete the training will earn a Short-Term Technical Diploma. The training is focused on the fundamentals of building design, energy efficiency concepts, construction basics, layout operation, print reading, and estimating and materials of industry. Students in the training not only gained the technical skills needed on the job, but also developed valuable soft skills as well.
Funding for this training was made possible through the combination of several different organizations and programs. Some of the funding sources include the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and State of Wisconsin. These funding sources allowed for eligible participants to attend the training at no cost to them.
To continue to support the talent pipeline needed to meet the regional industry demand, the NWWIB and WITC plan to offer the Construction Essentials course again later this year and again in 2018.