MADISON, WI -- The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin Apprenticeship program is marking 30 years of service to the construction industry today. On August 3, 1987, the State of Wisconsin approved the program standards that met all state requirements for construction apprenticeship.

“We worked with the State for two years to get these approved,” said Wayne Belanger, Education Director for ABC of Wisconsin recalls. “This was a complete paradigm shift for construction skills training in the state. As such, it was not without obstacles,” Belanger said.

The expansion of construction apprenticeship prompted legal action by union-affiliated, joint apprenticeship committees who argued the State did not have the right to approve additional apprenticeship programs. After a favorable ruling by the State Supreme Court, the ABC program continued to provide quality training for individuals in construction. Today, the program has 1,300 apprentices around Wisconsin in 12 trades, including Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Sheet Metal, Steamfitting, Sprinkler Fitting, Heavy Equipment Operating, Roofing, Concrete Finishing, Heat & Frost Insulating and Construction Craft Laborer.

The program has trained tens of thousands of craft workers over the years. “Countless graduates have gone into leadership roles in the industry, earned advanced degrees and some even purchase their companies from their employers,” said Belanger.

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