Women in Skilled Trades (WIST)

Program Overview

The Women in Skilled Trades (WIST) Apprenticeship Readiness Program (ARP) has been developed specifically to help women succeed in the construction skilled trades. Our 16-week program will kick-start your career in construction by introducing you to the fundamentals and basic skills of our industry, through a combination of classroom and hands-on activities. 

Graduates of the WIST ARP are guaranteed an interview with one of our Building Trades Unions, to join their apprenticeship program, where they can continue their on-the-job training while getting paid. 

We prepare our WIST ARP participants to make a successful transition into a Registered Apprenticeship Program with one of our partnered Building Trades Unions by incorporating the following elements into our program:

  • Follow nationally recognized NABTU Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3)
  • Hands-on activities in multiple disciplines
  • OSHA 30-hour Certification
  • First Aid / CPR / AED Certification
  • Sexual harassment awareness training
  • Physical strength training by a Certified Trainer
  • Mentorship program connecting participants with other women in the construction trades

Program Requirements

  • Score at least a Level 4 in WorkKeys Applied Math, Reading for Information, and Locating Information assessments. If your scores are lower, let us know. We can connect you with ACT Career Ready 101 or the Khan Academy. Many of our students also found help through local adult education programs.
  • Be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license.
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED.
  • Pass a drug test, criminal background check, and physical exam.
  • Have reliable transportation to get to and from worksites.
  • Complete a personal interview with a panel.
  • Each site may have additional requirements.

How to Apply

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Our mission is to combat economic and environmental injustice by connecting the unemployed or underemployed with the training and resources necessary to find gainful employment and transition Michigan to a cleaner, greener economy.

The Michigan Workforce Development Institute is affiliated with the Michigan State AFL-CIO.

Michigan AFL-CIO Website