Electrical apprentices put their training to the test during ABC of Wisconsin's 2018 Skill Competition in January at Washington County Fair Park.
A record 400 new contracted apprentices enrolled in Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin’s apprenticeship program this fall, bringing the program’s total number of active participants to 1,454 across 12 construction trades.

The enrollment numbers are the highest on record since the launch of ABC of Wisconsin’s apprenticeship program in 1987. The program has trained tens of thousands of workers over the years in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, roofing, HVAC, sheet metal, steamfitting, sprinkler fitting, heavy equipment operating, concrete finishing, heat and frost insulating and construction craft laborer.

“We are very excited to see such strong and growing interest in careers in the trades,” said John Mielke, president of ABC of Wisconsin. “Our apprenticeship program is helping the industry address skilled labor shortages and creating new family sustaining careers without the expense of a four-year college degree.”

ABC of Wisconsin apprentices “learn while they earn,” receiving paid on-the-job and in-class training for three to five years while working in their selected trade. The ABC Apprenticeship Program is certified by the state’s Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards and, just like a college degree, apprentices who complete the program earn a certification in their field. ABC hosts a graduation banquet each spring to salute those who have completed their apprenticeships.

In addition, apprentices from around the state have the opportunity to test their skills against each other during the annual ABC of Wisconsin Skill Competition. Winners of the statewide contest advance to compete against the top apprentices in the country at the National Craft Championships.

Learn more about apprenticeship and careers in construction at www.abcwi.org or www.buildyourcareerwi.org.