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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Wachtel Tree Service Signs State's First Arborist Apprentices

DWD Assistant Deputy Secretary joined partners to welcome the first Arborist Apprentices

MERTON – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Assistant Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson joined Wachtel Tree Service executives and other Wisconsin Apprenticeship partners to welcome the first apprentices in the Arborist Apprenticeship program. Members of the Wisconsin Arborist Association, Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and staff from Hoppe Tree also attended the event.

"As a time-tested and proven solution to the state's skills gap, Wisconsin Apprenticeship continues to grow and expand into new areas based on employer demand," Governor Scott Walker said. "Participating employers benefit with a customized solution to train and retain highly skilled workers, and the participating apprentice completes on-the-job training and related instruction that offer a pathway to industry-recognized credentials and family-supporting careers."

The Arborist Apprenticeship program, which was announced in March, is the first of its kind in the nation as it redefines the occupation by requiring plant health care duties in addition to tree care duties. Members of the Wisconsin Arborist Association and business representatives developed the apprenticeship program in partnership with the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and DWD.

“Milwaukee Area Technical College is pleased to partner with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to offer an arborist apprenticeship program,” said Dorothy Walker, dean of MATC’s School of Technology and Applied Sciences. “Working closely with industry leaders to develop and offer standardized training will be important for future professionals in this fast-growing career.”

National industry leaders are collaborating with Wisconsin Apprenticeship and WTCS to standardize training across the Arborist industry. Watchel Tree Service helped develop the standards for the state's Arborist Apprenticeship program and signed the first apprentice to this new program today.

“This apprenticeship program will be a positive for Wachtel Tree Science, Inc. by opening a little known career option to more people and increasing the pool of skilled employees," said Watchel Tree Service co-owner Dave Scharfenberger, "People do not realize they can work outside, climb trees and help the survival of the largest living organisms on earth. Who wouldn’t want to do that!”

Wachtel Tree Service is the oldest and largest tree care company in the state that operates exclusively in Wisconsin. They hosted the apprentice signing event today at their Merton office to sign the first apprentice. Hoppe Tree will also subsequently sign an apprentice also. Their apprentices will receive instruction at the Milwaukee Area Technical College.

For more information on the Arborist Apprenticeship program and other Wisconsin Apprenticeships please visit www.WisconsinApprenticeship.org