The Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin Apprenticeship and Training Trust recently announced the addition of a new roofing-apprenticeship program. This program, which is registered through the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, was developed in response to contractors’ rising needs for a trained work force in the roofing trade. ABC worked closely with several roofing contractors as well as the National Roofing Contractors Association to develop the curriculum. “The state-certified apprenticeship program has allowed us to bid fully funded and partially funded state work, which has become more of a concern lately,” said Ted McNamara, vice president of F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing Co. Inc. “The doors have been opened to controlling the future of our work force. This is something we have seriously needed for a long time.” McNamara, who played an integral role in developing the program, added, “We want to encourage our employees to have pride in their craft, their company and themselves for a job well done. Our goals are to enhance work opportunities at every level and support employees to realize a level of proficiency so they can be regarded as ‘experts’ in their industry.” Program details Apprentices will complete four years or 6,000 hours of paid classroom and on-the-job training. They will be trained in several areas including safety, application and insulation. This program is unique because there is no technical school training involved. Rather, the apprentices will take classroom instruction at an ABC contractors’ shop and be taught by an independent instructor. The program also provides instruction in both Spanish and English. “This multilingual course caters to the demands of qualified apprenticeship applicants who are faced with a language barrier,” said Kelly Tourdot, ABC apprenticeship director.
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“A Spanish-speaking interpreter is present at all classroom sessions, and all books and course materials are provided in both Spanish and English.” The position of a skilled roofer includes working with roofing materials — other than sheet metal — and waterproofing materials on various buildings. At the end of the program, the apprentices will have the knowledge to advance in the career of roofing. Several ABC roofing contractors are already participating in this program. “With the new roofing program, our member contractors are able to bid more projects and meet the standards of Executive Order 7, which requires contractors to have apprentices to be a qualified bidder,” said Tourdot. ABC is seeking to expand the program as more and more roofing contractors have expressed interest in this type of training. For more information, please contact Kelly Tourdot at 608-244-5883. Apprentice and sponsoring employer qualifications can be found by logging on to our Web site. Apprenticeship is long-term training that combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. ABC currently has 1,400 active apprentices in 17 different trades. Matt McClone is the marketing director for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin