Teens Sign On For Careers In Skilled Trades

High Schoolers Sign on to join the skilled trades
BOLDT holds signing day for area high schoolers entering construction fields.

(APPLETON, Wis.) April 30, 2024 – On Thursday, May 9th, The Boldt Company will host a signing day celebrating its youth apprentices committing to pursue a career in the skilled trades or attend a post-secondary institution. The ceremony will be attended by students, teachers, parents and representatives of the building trades and begins at 7:30 a.m.

Boldt’s youth apprentices will sign letters of intent to either an area university or union where they will pursue a career in the skilled trades—a sector in high demand due to large labor shortages. According to the Department of Workforce Development, more than 20% of jobs in the construction industry in Wisconsin are held by workers age 55 and older, indicating a large sector of the workforce is nearing retirement.

“We have found success in developing the local labor pool through our investment in Youth Apprenticeship programs,” said Rob Branyan, vice president of labor relations for Boldt. “We actively engage with school districts to create employment opportunities for juniors and seniors interested in joining the trades. Through mentorship, networking and hands-on experience directly on our project sites, we have transitioned many of our youth apprentices into union members.”

Each year, Boldt participates in the Youth Apprenticeship Program, sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The program integrates school and work-based learning, assisting students on their journey into the workforce. Youth apprentices specialize in areas such as architecture, construction and marketing.

This year, these graduating seniors will sign letters of intent to pursue careers in construction:

  • Lawrence Frederickson-Thomas
  • Sam Buelow
  • Jackson Blake
  • Madeline Brooks
  • Mason Depner
  • Kohen Kelley
  • Gavin Boldt
  • Jacob Hiles
  • Preston Piper
  • Megan Minlschmidt
  • Carson Hall

We will also recognize students going into their second year as a youth apprentice with Boldt as well as welcoming the incoming class of students.

As part of the program, Boldt matches the students with experienced professional mentors. Spencer Armstrong is a union carpenter, president of the carpenters union in Appleton, and has worked in construction for 33 years. He currently works at Boldt, where his father and uncle both worked and mentored him. Now, he’s returning the favor.

“Boldt strives to provide an enriching and educational employment opportunity through the Youth Apprenticeship Program. Our program is geared to help students learn about the different union skilled trades while being on jobsites during the summer and through the school year. This slowly eases individuals into the construction industry, allows them to be mentored, and helps them make an informed decision about what skilled trade they would like to join post-high school graduation for a long-term career, hopefully at Boldt,” said Allison Knautz, workforce development manager for Boldt.

Since 2019, 60 students have completed Boldt’s Youth Apprenticeship Program. For more information on career programs at Boldt, visit

About The Boldt Company
The Boldt Company (Boldt) is a leading professional construction services firm with customers across the United States and is a subsidiary of The Boldt Group. Founded in 1889, Boldt is a fourth-generation family and employee-owned firm headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin. Boldt is recognized as a pioneer in Lean construction and in the industrialized construction space. Boldt operates 18 offices across the U.S. that serve customers in healthcare, power, industrial, education, automotive and commercial markets.