Sixteen individuals filed into a small classroom in the otherwise deserted WRTP/BIG STEP building on Wisconsin Avenue Thursday morning. While the building was closed to the public, these 16 dodged snow plows and snow piles on a frigid, frosty morning to make it to their first day of CNC training class.
It’s a trek worth the effort.
Like most training courses facilitated by WRTP/BIG STEP, this one touts the ever-important employer connection. Industry coordinator Joe Nicosia has been working with manufacturer Milwaukee Gear to develop and implement the training. This flexibility in the training allows employers to tailor the course work to their specific needs, which makes the graduates extremely valuable to them.
Milwaukee Gear has committed to hire at least 15 graduates of this specially designed course. This type of commitment is at the center of what makes WRTP/BIG STEP a success in getting people into family-supporting jobs.
Student Scott Reale is excited by the prospect of being hired at the end of the two- month training. Scott was laid off in 2009 from Milsco Manufacturing, where he had worked for 30 years, when they moved their manufacturing operations to Mexico and a plant in northern Wisconsin.
“Every employer does things a little differently, so this training gives us a leg up at this company,” says Scott. “It’s really exciting. I’m looking forward to getting going.”
The course includes industry essential skills training at WRTP/BIG STEP, hands-on CNC skills training at Waukesha County Technical College, and job shadowing with workers at Milwaukee Gear.
“The class is challenging, but we recruited a great class,” says Joe Nicosia. “They’re motivated. They know what’s at the end of line if they graduate.”
In other words, the trek toward graduation may be difficult, but the destination makes all the difference.
Tune in to “What’s Working” in the coming weeks for the employer perspective and updates on the class and its participants.