Building Advantage Wisconsin

WRTP/BIG STEP’s Open House & Awards Event

WRTP/BIG STEP held its third Annual Open House, Awards and Recognition Event on Thursday, May 15, 2014 to celebrate the significant program and policy successes of the last year. There was overwhelming community support, with over 200 workforce development partners, community leaders, employers, program participants, and dedicated sponsors attending the event at WRTP/BIG STEP’s Center of Excellence.
The event recognized the following award recipients:

Joint Apprenticeship & Training Awards:

  • Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers
  • Painters & Allied Trades, District Council 7

Labor Partner Awards:

  • Laborers International Union of North America, Local 113
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 494
  • Sheet Metal Workers, Local 565

Community Partner Awards:

  • Northcott Neighborhood House
  • Legal Action of Wisconsin
  • YWCA of Southeast Wisconsin

Employer Partner Awards:

  • CG Schmidt
  • GE Energy Waukesha Gas Engines
  • Alexian Village
  • Masterson Company

Community/Industry Partnership Award:

  •  Hunzinger Construction & Progressive Community Healthcare

Program Participant Awards:

  • Kim Stenzel
  • Shanell Brookshire
  • Lakish Weatherall
  • Brandi Dunham
  • Micheal Rucker
  • Bruce Hendon, Sr.

Public/Private Partnership Awards:

  • Milwaukee County’s ‘Ready to Work’ Program
  • Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District
  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Eric Parker Leadership Award:

  • Dr. Willis and Dr. Linda Parker

Educator Award:

  • Jody Bloyer, Principal, Bradley Tech High School

Labor Management Partnership Awards:

  • DWD Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards/IMT Apprenticeship Launch
  • United Steel Workers, Local 7340/Pure Power

National Partner Award:

  • National Skills Coalition

Keynote Speaker Rachel Unruh, Associate Director of the National Skills Coalition, spoke to the importance of recent efforts to bolster strong workforce development initiatives and policy advancements on the national level. She expressed the same sentiments of President Obama in his recent memorandum to the Secretary of Labor that “giving workers the opportunity to acquire the skills that they need to pursue in-demand jobs and careers is critical to growing our economy, ensuring that everyone who works hard is rewarded, and building a strong middle class.”

Unruh also emphasized the tremendous impact of WRTP/BIG STEP’s efforts in workforce development activities, serving over 1,800 individuals and 270 employers in the Milwaukee area and throughout the State of Wisconsin.

Other speakers included Milwaukee Mayor, Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Common Council President, Michael Murphy, who recognized the services and employment resources WRTP/BIG STEP has been providing Milwaukee residents over the last 20 years in various capacities.

It is important, Mayor Barrett conveyed, that as the economy continues to grow and rebound from the challenges of the past few years, that workforce development and training continues to be a priority on the local, state, and national level to connect hardworking people to family-supporting jobs.

Awards were given out to Community Partners, Employer Partners, Public-Private Partnerships, Labor Partners, Labor Management Partners, Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee Partners, and individual participants of WRTP/BIG STEP programs. Overall, the event was a great success, with all funds raised going directly to help meet the training and workforce needs of the Milwaukee economy.


Attendees at the WRTP/BIG STEP Open House & Awards Ceremony enjoy live music, refreshments, auction items and networking.

2-mayor barrett

Mayor Barrett addressed the audience before the awards ceremony, and congratulated the award recipients, WRTP/BIG STEP and their industry partners on their 2013 successes.

Comments are closed