April 3, 2015

Graduates of Construction Apprenticeship Readiness Training Programs to be Honored

Foundations for the Trades Academy participants touring the new UW Health at the American Center in March 2015
Foundations for the Trades Academy participants touring the new UW Health at the American Center.

MADISON—Nearly 60 Madison-area residents will take the stage on the evening of Wednesday, April 8 to receive their graduation certificates in their next step toward pursuing careers in the construction industry. The graduates participated in apprenticeship readiness training programs sponsored by the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin and its partners in the Construction Employment Initiative (CEI).

The event marks the first-ever combined graduation ceremony for the three City of Madison-supported construction training programs including Construct-U, Foundations for the Trades Academy and the Latino Academy Bi-Lingual Construction Program. The CEI programs align with City of Madison Mayor Soglin’s initiative to increase career opportunities in the construction industry for low-income and disenfranchised individuals. The Mayor is slated to deliver the keynote to the graduates at the ceremony.

”This is a wonderful partnership between the City, the Workforce Development Board and other non-profit partners,” said Mayor Soglin. “I am delighted to be part of the celebration and am so pleased that these men and women will be part of our local workforce.  My thanks to the partners and my heartiest congratulations to the graduates!”

“With the construction industry on the upswing, and now in need of more skilled workers, we’re proud to have trained so many area residents for a range of construction jobs available right here in South Central Wisconsin,” says Pat Schramm, CEO for the Workforce Development Board. “It’s a great example of how multiple community agencies and government entities can come together and align resources to help workers and employers advance—together. I congratulate the graduates for their commitment and hard work and wish them well in their careers.

The programs use an industry-recognized approach in training individuals to develop construction craft skills, combining classroom instruction and hands-on training on a job site. Contextual learning specific to construction trades, safety, construction math and measurements, and hand and power tools are part of the curriculum. Participants earn industry-approved certifications and also develop work readiness skills needed for entry-level employment or apprenticeships in the industry. The training programs offered through CEI are available at no cost for eligible participants.

The graduation will commence at 6:00 p.m. at CUNA Mutual Group Conference Center, located at 5810 Mineral Point Road in Madison, and will be prefaced by a construction-focused job fair exclusively for the graduates with an expected attendance of 30 construction employers ready to recruit the new graduates.

Partners for the program include Construction Training, Inc.’s START program, Latino Academy of Workforce Development, Operation Fresh Start, Urban League of Greater Madison, Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, WorkSmart Network and the YWCA. Funding sources for the program include the City of Madison, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative.

About the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin

The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, founded in 1983, is a private, non profit organization that collaborates with businesses, workers and communities in the counties of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Marquette and Sauk counties to promote a healthy economy. The Board’s vision is to build public and private partnerships that support innovation and excellence in workforce development. For more information about Workforce Development Board, please visit

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