Global Perspectives in the Skilled Trades Curriculum

Among the goals of Title VI National Resource Centers program is the promotion of student understanding of world regions and countries in the context of an increasingly interconnected global economy. As students transition to the workforce, factors beyond our borders impact their careers even if their jobs are not explicitly global in focus. It is therefore important to expand global education outreach to students and educators in fields that have not traditionally been included.

Toward that end, the Institute of World Affairs is working with the Milwaukee Area Technical College to help MATC faculty explore alternative models of teaching and certifying students in the skilled trades. In April, IWA Director Doug Savage will accompany MATC Director of Apprenticeships and Special Projects Dave Stuart on a study tour to Germany. The delegation will also include Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Amy Pechacek and other members of DWD leadership.

The trip will examine how recruitment into the building and manufacturing trades is built into the German educational system. Participants will also compare Germany’s competence-based assessment for apprentices with the time-based model used in Wisconsin.

The expansion of NRC-funded outreach to the technical college skilled trades curriculum is an innovative example of how the Center for International Education is aligning the goals of the National Resource Center program with UWM’s mission as the Universities of Wisconsin’s access campus.