Western Technical College celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

This week is National Apprenticeship Week (Nov. 11-17), and it’s a chance to highlight job training programs in our area.

Western Technical College is home to an apprenticeship facility that offers real-world training from a qualified tradesperson, while taking courses that count toward an associate’s degree.

Fourth year student in that program, JJ Speckeen, says the program has helped him prepare for the Workforce.

“In the first year you’re doing a lot of stuff – kind of more like a job shadow. You’re not trusted to just go off and understand how to read a blueprint so you work alongside somebody,” said Speckeen. “You do a lot of the heavy lifting like grabbing materials, a lot of running a shovel a lot of times. Then towards the end of your apprenticeship you’re pretty much working by yourself. I’m with a great contractor right now. I really enjoy the work that I get to do here, so I’m just gonna keep going.”

Speckeen says through Western Technical College’s apprenticeship program, he will graduate debt free, and plans on staying in the La Crosse area.

Western will be hosting an ‘Apprenticeship Experience’ event on Thursday at it’s Welding and Apprenticeship Facility, 2860 21st Place, S., La Crosse, from 4 pm-7 pm.

The event will offer facility tours and allow interested individuals and employers the chance to visit with instructors in the program.

Although the event is primarily for those interested in the apprenticeship program, the public is invited to attend.