Access to Careers in Advanced Building Technology
This project aims to serve the national interest by connecting underserved populations with education and careers in advanced building technology. The project brings together a collaboration of community-based organizations, the City of Milwaukee, local industry partners and Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) to support the technical career advancement of students from underserved areas of the city. The project addresses the need for advanced technology education and improved career opportunities for underserved communities and will address the urgent employment needs of local industry. The building sector faces numerous challenges including increased health concerns, energy efficiency goals, management of new technologies and high workforce attrition. The project seeks to increase the pool of skilled technicians ready to maintain the ever-changing and complex technology in buildings.
The project has two fundamental goals: (1) meet the industry need for skilled advanced building technicians and (2) increase the recruitment and retention of students from underserved communities. Industry has supported MATC in the development of a diploma program, four digital badges, a pre-apprenticeship and an apprenticeship program to provide students with the skills needed and multiple pathways into employment. The digital badges are stepping stones to the diploma, and the pre-apprenticeship creates a separate pathway. Both provide a pathway to associate degrees such as the Individualized Technical Studies degree. To address the needs of underserved communities and improve retention, local industry has committed to hiring these students in paid internships as they continue in the program. The project will combine community-based outreach and case management efforts with local government funded support for child care, transportation and subsistence. The project will provide workshops in the community to expose participants to career opportunities in advanced building technologies through hands-on lab activities, career information and job prospects. As underserved participants enter the program at MATC they will benefit from support services provided by the City of Milwaukee, community based organizations, local employers, and MATCs success coaches and other services.