“Just Like A National Signing Day For Athletes” - Wisconsin Students Celebrate Signing Onto Full-Time Jobs As Union-Represented Construction Apprentices
(KENOSHA, WISCONSIN) - Two area high school students will start full-time jobs as Carpenter Apprentices after graduation this Spring through a partnership with their schools, a Regional Union and a Kenosha construction company.
Tyler Dabbs, a Tremper High School student, and Nathan Voge, who attends Union Grove High School, recently took part in a “signing day” for their formal Full-Time Apprenticeships with sponsoring contractor Riley Construction, a Union contractor.
The program is also sponsored by the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, which represents 27,000 Union Members and their families from 46 Local Unions in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
As Apprentices, they will also join the local Union.
Jim Anderson, Business Representative for the Regional Union, said that much like the National Signing Day that is held for athletes, students choosing a career in the Skilled Building Trades also should be celebrated.
“We’re here ‘for a very big moment in two young men’s lives.’ They ‘decided to take a higher education into the Skilled Trades,’” he said during the ceremony.
Dabbs and Voge currently work for Riley part time in Youth Apprenticeship Programs through their schools.
“With our ‘partner’ schools and with our partner contractors ‘we get younger people into our job sites and see that working with your hands is a great career,’” Anderson said.
Voge and Dabbs have spent much of their youth Apprenticeship hours working on the addition to St. Catherine’s Medical Center in Pleasant Prairie.
The students said they were looking forward to starting their jobs right after graduation.
“It’s ‘awesome,’” Voge said. “I ‘like (working with Riley) a lot better than Non-Union companies because it’s commercial and you’re exposed to more things.’”
“I’m ‘excited.’ ‘Very excited,’” Dabbs said. “I’m ‘going to be working full time.’”
Joel Adamczyk, Union Grove High School’s Associate Principal, said the school is establishing a new Academy Program for Construction, saying it is important to expose students to the Skilled Trades through partnerships with companies such as Riley.
“We’re ‘committed as a high school to work with the partners and give them some quality Workers,’” he said.
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