This Labor Day, we continue the decades-long tradition of honoring the American worker, and especially those in the skilled trades. At Associated Builders and Contractors, a national trade association with more than 21,000 members, we know that our skilled workers are our most valuable asset—the individuals who build where we live, learn, work, heal and play. And as an industry with an earn-while-you-learn education model, we provide a pathway for our workers to constantly hone their skills, advance their careers and achieve the American Dream.
In 2018, ABC signed President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers, committing to recruiting, educating and upskilling more than 500,000 workers by 2024. One year later, we’re well on our way. In 2018 alone, ABC contractor members from across the country invested $1.6 billion to develop their employees, which translated into 980,000 course attendees receiving craft, leadership and safety education to advance their careers in commercial and industrial construction.
In Wisconsin, the ABC Apprenticeship Program is working with 11 state technical colleges to educate nearly 1,600 apprentices in 12 skilled trades. This fall, ABC’s apprenticeship program is training nearly 450 additional first-year apprentices in communities across Wisconsin. There have been thousands of apprenticeship graduates who have come before them.
On this Labor Day, the skilled trades men and women should take a moment to be proud of their skills. After all, it is their accomplishments that have built Wisconsin and America.