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Working with Craftsman with Character

Laura Cullen

Craftsman with Character (CWC) is rapidly expanding its presence in local school districts, playing a vital role in supporting local workforce development. By creating a talent pipeline and showcasing the abundant job opportunities in their communities, CWC aims to tackle the challenges posed by an aging manufacturing and skilled trades workforce while offering high school students exposure to promising and diverse career pathways.

JP Cullen proudly hosts CWC students from the School District of Janesville throughout their 16-week high school accredited class. The course offers classroom instruction alongside opportunities for students to job shadow at local organizations and gain hands-on experiences through mentorship and job shadowing.

During JP Cullen’s job-shadowing experiences this past year, students got a firsthand look at various professions in construction, such as Masonry, Carpentry, Equipment Operating, Laboring, Mechanic work, Equipment and Tool Inventory, Engineering, Project Management, and Safety. Students laid blocks, sat in the crane, inspected the work for safety and quality, and learned to read blueprints. They had the opportunity to shadow different project and trade leaders on an active job site, participate in hands-on activities with our corporate yard and mechanic shop, and engage with internal personnel to begin expanding their professional networks. These experiences allowed students to explore their craftsmanship, uncover hidden talents, and gain exposure to various career opportunities.

The classroom facilitators and the mentors play a crucial role in nurturing relationships with these students, helping them uncover their passions and potential. Being part of this program has been immensely rewarding, knowing that we’re positively impacting these young lives.

For JP Cullen and other partners, the initiative serves as an opportunity to showcase career opportunities in their respective fields and bolster the workforce in Janesville. Viewed as a five-month-long interview process, the program has generated significant interest in Youth Apprenticeships, contributing to Janesville and Rock County workforce development efforts, and addressing labor shortages.

To apply for a Youth or Registered Apprentice program through JP Cullen, visit:  Job Openings | JP Cullen.

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