Recognizing that the lack of a high school diploma is often a barrier to those interested in pursuing a career in the construction trades, WRTP/BIG STEP and Literacy Services of Wisconsin created a unique partnership to overcome this barrier. WRTP/BIG STEP offers a robust national building trade credential – Multi Craft Core Curriculum, often coined MC3. This curriculum alone combines OSHA, First Aid/CPR, fall protection, scaffold building, industry history, and construction related math and blueprint reading with hands-on learning in a program that has become nationally recognized. However, this unique partnership with Literacy Services of Wisconsin has now allowed them to couple the MC3 credential with a High School Equivalency Diploma. This initiative is the first of its kind in the nation. Its goal is simple: develop a strong pipeline of candidates to continue to grow the unions.
The first pilot cohort has been nothing short of successful, with every individual having applied at a trade as they reach the completion of this 300+ hour intensive training.
“We are excited to be able to offer such an innovative program to address the needs that exist in the industry. Having these students obtain their HSED and the NABTU (North American Building Trade Union) credential- taught by experts in the industry will begin to build a pipeline of a more marketable and retainable workforce,” says Tracey Griffith Director of Construction Initiatives WRTP/BIG STEP.
This program is only beginning and will continue to reach more individuals. The hope is that future cohorts will target those already working in the trades but who have been unable to pursue their apprenticeship or move up within the industry because of their lack of a high school diploma.