A few weeks ago, they were seeking a new career. Today, all 12 members of a two-week construction trades boot camp that finished last week began new careers as paid apprentice carpenters at the $524 million Milwaukee Bucks Arena. They were hired by Wall-tech, an employee ownership-driven drywall, plastering and painting contractor.
“Certainly this program will help our company meet the RPP goals for this project and provides positions to local workers who need the opportunities the most,” said Pete Braun, president of Wall-tech. “What we’re doing is so much more than providing good-paying job training. We are building our community – one person, one family, one opportunity at a time.”
The Bucks have committed to meeting both the city and county job requirements of at least 40 percent of the labor hours being worked by Milwaukee residents eligible under the Residential Preference Program (RPP).
The Bucks Arena is just the latest of the firm’s high profile projects in the region. Others include the Wisconsin Center and The Moderne in downtown Milwaukee, Aurora Medical Center in Oconomowoc, Aurora Women’s Pavilion in West Allis, Bayshore Town Center in Glendale, The Shoppes of Brookfield Commons, Epic Systems headquarters in Verona, and Monona Terrace in Madison.
“We’re proud to be involved with the construction of such an iconic structure like the Bucks Arena. Ask any of our 250 employees and they’ll smile with pride when they see a building they’ve worked on and say, ‘I built that,’” said Braun. “That’s a point of pride our 12 new apprentices will have in addition to learning skills that will serve them for their lifetime – whether they remain in the construction trades or in another setting.”
Braun noted that while the work at the arena will be non-stop for the next 18 months, the impact is much greater.
“Working together we are strengthening Milwaukee – building a strong foundation by providing good-paying jobs, skilled training and career opportunities,” he said.