Sixteen in, sixteen out.
Sixteen graduates started the WRTP/BIG STEP CNC class in February and 16 finished in April.
At the graduation ceremony for the class, held April 8, graduate Carl Butler shared just what that accomplishment meant to the graduates. Watch his speech below.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Richard Fullington, president and CEO of Milwaukee Gear, the company that hired all 16 graduates, were in attendance to congratulate the graduates, who start work in the next couple weeks and will make $15/hr.
Milwaukee Gear, a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of precision gears and drives, has seen steady growth in the last six months and identified the need to hire qualified CNC machinists, who can be difficult to find.
“We found there were talented people in the community looking for work, but didn’t have the skills necessary to step into a production role,” says Alesia Butera, shared services manager at Milwaukee Gear. “We decided the best thing for our company would be to take the time and provide those interested in joining our team with the skills that would last them a lifetime.”
To help meet this goal, Milwaukee Gear began working with WRTP/BIG STEP staff members in January to develop the training course, recruit and select community members, and coordinate instruction.
“WRTP/BIG STEP has been instrumental in understanding our needs and developing a curriculum to meet those demands,” says Butera. “Organizations like WRTP/BIG STEP not only support employers in Wisconsin, they support individuals, communities and our local economy by helping put people back to work.”
With expansion expected to continue, Milwaukee Gear will be maintaining their partnership with WRTP/BIG STEP. By doing so the company not only expects to bring more qualified employees into their operation, but hopes other local employers will take notice and follow suit.
Says Butera, “We’re excited about our new team members starting with us, and we’re looking forward to a bright future for them and Milwaukee Gear.”