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Summer program introduces Milwaukee-area students to trade careers

The Milwaukee Building & Construction Trades Council and five Milwaukee-area school districts will embark next week on a first-ever summer training program for careers in the trades.

Students from school districts in Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Muskego and Whitnall will take a week-long course, running from June 18 to June 22, as part of the Summer Trades Institute. The sessions will let students earn high-school credit while getting hands-on experience in the construction trades.

More than 50 students are registered for the classes, which will be held at the training centers run by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 494, Plumbers Local 75, the Bricklayers District Council of Wisconsin, the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters and Steamfitters Local 601.

“We understand the importance for each student to follow a post-secondary path that meets their interests and abilities,” said Dr. Gary Kiltz, superintendent at Greendale Schools. “College has many definitions today and may mean a four-year, two-year, technical-certificate, or trades-apprenticeship program. One of our jobs as educators is to introduce our students to the multiple ways to support a successful and enriching life after they leave high school. It is up to schools to help students explore every possibility.”

Dan Bukiewicz, president of the Milwaukee Building & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO, said the construction industry will continue to struggle with a shortage of skilled trade workers in coming years. Programs like the Summer Trades Institute are meant to pique students’ interest in a path to success that doesn’t necessarily lead through college.

“This partnership in the Summer Trades Institute will give the students some real insight into what a
career in the trades would be like, all while earning valuable lifelong skills and earning high school
credit for doing it,” Bukiewicz said.

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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