Making Madison Greener After WIOA Title I Programming

Individual enters trades after pre-apprenticeship training.

Brooke installs solar panels on a roof of a building with the City of Madison Engineering DepartmentBrooke was interested in the trades but didn’t know where to start. She connected with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programming in August 2020 for career and training services and decided to enroll in the WRTP/BIG STEP MC3 pre-apprenticeship training.

After graduating from the 9-week training in October 2020, Brooke was concerned about finding employment since most companies laid off workers in the winter months. But she worked with the WorkSmart Network and WRTP/BIG STEP to search available careers, and in March 2021 accepted a position with the City of Madison Engineering Department as a Solar Panel Installer.

“It was really cool to get the training because if I didn’t get it, I probably would be scared to apply for an apprenticeship because there’s not many women in the trades, which is a little scary. But that was part of the training I enjoyed too because it let you see what the job is like.”

Brooke was recently promoted to an LTE position, which still offers training and hands-on learning opportunities. Eventually, she hopes to earn her journeyman’s license to become a licensed electrician.

“The nice thing about the Green Power Program is they take on people who are new to the trades. I didn’t know much else than what I learned from the MC3 program so I’ve learned so much just from being on-the-job and asking questions and having great leadership, which is awesome.”

Photo from the City of Madison Engineering Department.