Construction Training Program Welcomes Less Traditional Workers

Jan 2, 2014

A job training program is looking to help women and minorities join the construction trade.   

Construction is a male-dominated profession, but a local jobs nonprofit is trying to broaden the pool.
Credit S Lampkin / US Air Force

The Transportation Alliance for New Solutions- or TRANS program - starts later this month.  Coordinator Kim Kircher says the 120-hour course will cover everything from math skills to hands-on use of tools.    

“We try to prepare them for a trade in the construction field.  They have speakers come in – we have contractors come in, they have mock interviews, they do a resume.”

Participants also prepare for OSHA workplace safety certification.  The course takes place over six Saturdays in a row at the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Center in Crandon.  Kircher says construction firms are often looking to diversify their employee base with women or nonwhite employees.  

“Sometimes they would never think of going into this field, unless they came to this kind of TRANS class, because they would probably think, oh I wouldn’t get into that.  Because it’s nontraditional for them maybe.  And you’re seeing more minorities, you’re seeing more females get into the construction trade.” 

Anyone 18 years or older can qualify for the program.  Participants must also be physically fit and have a drivers license. 

The TRANS program recruits from five counties – Forest, Oneida, Langlade, Vilas and Lincoln counties. 

This is the program’s 14th year.