Gateway's Electrical Apprenticeship Program to Benefit from Microsoft Expansion

Nov. 11, 2023 noon 

(WGTD)---Microsoft’s decision to grow its Mt. Pleasant campus even before the first building is completed bodes well for anyone who’s planning on entering Gateway Technical College’s electrical apprentice program.

Rob Alderson, director of the program, spoke on WGTD’s “Fab Lab at 10” show Saturday. The program was recorded before Microsoft publicly announced its expansion plans.

Alderson noted that Microsoft at its new Mt. Pleasant data center will need dozens of electricians for years to come. "You can finish your apprenticeship on one project which was unheard of 30 years ago," he said. 

The apprenticeship program works like this: Anyone interested in becoming an electrician signs up at union halls in Kenosha and Racine. Some prerequisites are required before a sponsoring company will take on an apprentice.

For the next five years, students spend most of their time on work sites learning the ropes and one day a week in school. They get paychecks throughout the program.

Alderson said Saturday he's working with 18 new electrical apprentices this fall. 

Details of Microsoft’s expansion plan in Mt. Pleasant could come Monday night when the Mt. Pleasant Village Board meets.

On Friday, the company announced plans to more than triple its footprint in the village.