May 21, 2020
Design and consulting firm WSB today announced that the company’s first Opportunity+ cohort graduated in a virtual ceremony. The program, Opportunity+, is a new workforce training and development program designed to prepare participants for long-term careers in the civil engineering industry. Opportunity+ launched in January of this year and is a free and fast-paced training course led by experts at WSB. Nine cohort members completed the first Opportunity+ training class and received their certificates during the ceremony.
“I am honored to have played in role in introducing the program participants to the world of civil engineering,” said Bret Weiss, WSB’s president and CEO. “The communities we live and work in are far more diverse than our industry. Opportunity+ is just one of the ways we are working towards building a workforce that looks more like the communities we serve. I am so proud of our graduates and their ability to master the skills needed for a successful career in the AEC industry.”
From January through April, program participants received accelerated training through evening and weekend sessions. The flexible schedule allowed participants to continue working during the day while completing the hands-on program. Today, Opportunity+ participants are prepared for careers as surveyors – a high-demand position in civil engineering.
“The future of the Opportunity+ program is bright,” said Laura Rescorla, WSB engineer and program manager of Opportunity+. “We have plans to make a couple of tweaks and are currently exploring expansion opportunities for the 2021 cohort. I am so impressed with the participants and their dedication to growing their careers and taking a chance on something new.”
WSB has hired two program participants and has extended offers to several others. The firm is working with hiring partners to help participants find their place in the industry and begin new career paths.
Program partners include the City of Minneapolis, CareerForce, Center for Economic Inclusion, EMERGE Community Development, Hennepin County and the City of Saint Paul.