ASHWAUBENON, WI -- Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 745 into law today in Ashwaubenon. The bill, authored by Rep. Romaine Quinn (Barron) and State Senator Pat Testin (Stevens Point), will allow high school seniors to begin adult apprenticeship programs early, similar to high school students taking advanced placement (AP) courses for college credit.  It is the second ABC-backed apprenticeship bill the Governor has signed in a month, as he signed the 1:1 apprenticeship ratio measure in March.

Play video“By increasing apprenticeship opportunities for high school students, we are opening the door for high school seniors to get a head start on their career in high demand areas,” said Governor Walker. “Through these on-the-job training programs, we are providing the future of Wisconsin’s workforce with needed skills to have rewarding careers. Investing in these apprenticeships is investing in our state’s future.”

"On behalf of our 870 construction employer members in Wisconsin, I want to thank Governor Walker for signing AB 745 into law. This very sensible initiative will help address the skills gap by providing more education access for Wisconsinites interested in highly-skilled, family-sustaining construction careers," said John Mielke, president of ABC of Wisconsin. "The average age of a Wisconsin construction apprentice is 28, a decade older than the age of a typical high school graduate. AB 745 will exposed more of our youth into careers in construction without costing taxpayers any more money," said Mielke.

The Governor signed the bill at Bohemian Park Apartment’s in Ashwaubenon, a construction building site by ABC member Bayland Buildings, Inc. 

"We could not be more grateful that Governor Walker and the rest of you are here today at Bohemian Park, such a phenomenal project for Ashwaubenon, Bayland and of course, United Development," said Abe Farley, CEO at Bayland Buildings, Inc. "We are proud to be a part of this." 

The measure will give high school seniors access to valuable professional qualifications and experience through registered apprenticeship programs during their final year of school.  It takes effect next school year. Construction apprenticeship programs are typically three- to five-years in length. AB 745 passed the State Senate and State Assembly unanimously. 

See photos from the event