Plover teen makes history by joining carpenter’s union

By Brandi Makuski

A Plover teenager is making history by becoming the first youth apprentice in the state to sign on with a carpenter’s union.

Owen Kirsteatter, 18, plans to graduate from SPASH this year, then work for Stevens Point-based Boldt Construction Company. On Jan. 26, he also signed his membership paperwork with the Carpenters Union before a full-court press.

Representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development were also present, along with several staff members at SPASH.

Kirsteatter enrolled in the youth apprentice program under the mentorship of Jessi Kropidlowski.

“He’s a real hard worker, he moves fast, he’s got a good attitude, and it’s a real good fit,” Kropidlowski said.

Lane and Angela Kirsteatter, Owen’s parents, were among the many friends and family members to witness his signing.

“We’re really proud that he did this, he knew what he wanted and he went for it,” said Lane Kirsteatter. “We tried to be as supportive as we could be.”

Angela Kirsteatter said she was happy that her son found a solid path in an in-demand career.

“Just knowing that he’ll start out with no debt, it’s just so great,” she said.

Kirsteatter, who appeared a bit confused about all of the attention, said he was glad to get a two-year headstart on many of his classmates.

“It’s pretty cool that I can be the youngest journeyman in the state,” he said.