Photo banner with woman working onsite and #madisonwomenintrades


Madison women in trades pre-apprenticeship program

Become a plumber, or carpenter, or electrician, or operating engineer…

Explore career pathways within the building trades and build your skills, all while interacting with local tradeswomen, with this free pre-apprenticeship series.


UW-Madison School for Workers – in partnership with the Workforce Development of South Central Wisconsin and other community partners – is offering a free pre-apprenticeship program for women interested in exploring career pathways within the building trades industries. Participants can expect:

  • Hands-on training in various building trades
  • Career support
  • OSHA 10-hour course
  • Interactions with tradeswomen
  • Connections with local contractors and building trade unions
  • Limited opportunity for childcare support


The program is a series of 44 hours, held over four Thursday evenings and four Saturdays (all day) February through March 2019.


The pre-apprenticeship program is a hands-on experience, providing women the opportunity to build skills at various worksite locations. All worksite and classroom experiences will be held in the Madison area.


The pre-apprenticeship program will be limited to 20 women who successfully complete the application process.


The pre-apprenticeship program is limited to 20 participants, and the 2019 cohort is currently full. Women interested in the pre-apprenticeship program are asked to contact the program facilitator Heidi Wagner directly at or 608.265.4923.


Program accessibility: The program is free, and has limited opportunity to provide childcare support.

Living wage: The average hourly wage of an entry-level construction worker is $18.20, and for an experienced construction worker $30-$40, depending on the trade.

Job security: The construction field is experiencing a labor shortage and is expected to have job opportunity growth into 2026.

Career support: The pre-apprenticeship program connects participants with current tradeswomen, future tradeswomen, local contractors, and building trade unions.

Program contact information

Information for community members

Thank you to our program supporter

and community partners…

  • Building Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin
  • Latino Academy of Workforce Development
  • Madison Area Technical College
  • Operation Fresh Start
  • Urban League of Greater Madison