The Valuable Reason These Wisconsin High School Students are Taking the Wheel!


Donna Savarese, Patch

To mark Career Technical Education (CTE) Awareness Month in February, Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin (DCAWI), along with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139, hosted a Heavy Equipment workshop for students. Students in the Architecture & Construction career pathway received hands-on training at the Wisconsin Operating Engineers Training Center.


“An event like this successfully complements the rigorous online instruction DCAWI students receive,” instructor Pat Acker said. “Thanks to our partnership with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139, our students have the unique opportunity to train on heavy equipment simulators, including excavators, bulldozers, graders and front-end loaders.”

Such training is valuable. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found in a recent study that more than half of U.S. employers report struggling with talent acquisition, which is particularly acute within industries experiencing high growth, such as the construction sector.

“When we speak with our partners within the commercial construction industry, they consistently indicate they are experiencing a major skills gap,” Tim Lawrence, SkillsUSA’s Executive Director said. SkillsUSA is a proud partner of K12’s CTE programs.

Destinations Career Academies and programs empower students to obtain job training in the skilled trades in high school so students are set up for success on-the-job upon graduation and employers can successfully fill in-demand, open positions.

Students came away from the memorable workshop with a fabulous sense of what it’s like to work with heavy equipment, as well as the exciting career opportunities that may be open to them down the road!

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