BIG STEP (Building Industry Group Skilled Trades Employment Program) is a pre-apprenticeship tutoring program that helps prepare community residents for apprenticeships in the construction trades.
BIG STEP has partnered with the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership to form the WRTP/BIG STEP Center of Excellence.
BIG STEP works closely with the construction trades’ Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees to develop tutoring programs that help participants prepare for apprenticeships in the trade of their choice.
- Recruitment of qualified individuals for apprenticeship training and careers
- Assessment of individual’s needs and strengths
- Development of a plan of action to help participants receive employment
- Providing test tutoring and other preparatory services (day and evening classes)
- Placing participants in on-the-job-training programs leading to construction-related apprenticeships
- Arranging for any classroom training necessary to prepare/place participants into higher paying employment opportunities
- Providing case management services to assist candidates in becoming apprentices and/or retaining construction-related employment
- 18 years old
- High School Diploma/GED/HSED
- Must be physically fit, with a generally good medical history
- Valid Driver’s License
A consortium of representatives of the building trades and contractor associations founded BIG STEP in 1976 in an attempt to connect and increase the number of minority, female and younger workers employed in the building trades.
Under the leadership of Founding Executive Director Vincent Toran, the BIG STEP program helped many new faces join the ranks of union apprenticeships in the construction trades.
In 1999, Earl Buford (now the executive director of WRTP/BIG STEP) was hired to help revitalize the BIG STEP program and in 2002, WRTP and BIG STEP, both with their own highly successful histories, partnered to facilitate more effective coordination of employer-driven worker readiness to best ensure individuals preparing for employment gain the skills needed by employers, while ensuring the needs of employers are also met.
Please visit www.wrtp.org for more information on BIG STEP and its partnership with WRTP. The site has up-to-date information, including an events calendar, success stories, and news.