High schoolers explore careers in trade industry at The Couture construction site


MILWAUKEE — The winter chill in the air didn’t stop dozens of eager students from learning about potential jobs in the construction world, thanks to an apprenticeship program tailored just for them.

After years in the making, The Couture, a multimillion-dollar construction project, is welcoming students from four different area high schools to be able to see the project from the ground up and take a chance at looking at a new career.

“I think everyone has like their little niche and everything they want to do when they grew up. But just being able to come out and see what these guys do, and kind of just getting an idea what I would like to do my future. And it’s going to be a great way of me seeing what I want to do,” said Brookfield Central junior Garrett Stokelbusch.

In a partnership between the Brookfield and Wauwatosa school districts, the Launch program gives high school students one-of-a-kind experiences designed to expose them to available careers in the trade industry, including some in one of the biggest projects to make it to Milwaukee’s downtown.

“It’s really exciting to have the youth out here because it really is the future of the construction industry. We can’t get enough people to join the trades and it’s a great high rewarding career that pays really well, and it’s just getting people exposed to all the opportunities,” said Eric Sadler, Senior Project Manager at Findorff.

For teachers like Wauwatosa East High School’s Craig Griffie, giving his students the opportunity to explore a world they may not have considered is a gift he does not take for granted.

“We could talk about all the different trades and we can actually replicate a lot of the different traits in our shop at school. I can’t replicate this. So, to get kids a real chance to see what this type of construction looks like and get a feel for what it’s like to be outside in this weather; this is an amazing opportunity for these kids,” said Griffie.

With the expected end date for The Couture’s construction in a couple of years, a lot of these students are hopeful that they might be able to get involved before it’s all completed.

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