The Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP/Big Step) recently announced that Mark Kessenich has been named interim president and chief executive officer.
Kessenich has held the position of vice president at WRTP/Big Step since 2012 and succeeds Earl Buford after more than 15 years of service to the organization. Buford was recently appointed president and CEO of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
“We are grateful to Earl for his leadership, vision, and his ability to help us navigate through the many changes in workforce development over the past decade,” said Mike Fabishak, co-chair of the WRTP/Big Step board of directors. “Earl is a leader in the truest sense of the term, and because of that he is leaving the organization in very capable hands.”
The board is beginning a national search for Bufford’s permanent replacement.
In 2013, WRTP/Big Step exceeded its workforce goals by serving 1862 people, placing 743 into careers with an average hourly wage of $17.
“I’m honored to be named WRTP/Big Step’s interim president and CEO, and to continue working toward our mission,” Kessenich said. “We have tremendous industry partners who are committed to building the most skilled, qualified, and diverse workforce in the world. Through their support and leadership, we are able to connect our new workforce to family-supporting careers, and position our current workforce to help our industries compete and grow.”