Michiganders are being encouraged to explore apprenticeship opportunities across the state. Photo via Shutterstock
Michiganders are being encouraged to explore apprenticeship opportunities across the state.

Michiganders are encouraged to join one of the nation’s largest groups of registered apprenticeships by taking advantage of “debt-free, unionized” learning opportunities.

MICHIGAN—As Michiganders look for new career and educational pathways to bounce back in the pandemic, the spotlight is on apprenticeships. 

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared the week of November 8-14 Michigan Apprenticeship Week, while also encouraging more Michiganders to consider earning while learning through a paid apprenticeship program.

“Registered apprenticeships offer a pathway to a great career for Michiganders while providing support for employers who need to be connected to skilled talent,” Whitmer said.

“Michigan is proud to be a national leader in using the Registered Apprenticeship model for skill development, and we’re excited for the new opportunities it brings to students, career-seekers, workers and businesses throughout the state as we continue to close the skills gap.”

The Great Lakes State boasts the third most active apprentices nationally, with 21,075, and is fourth in active programs with 1,096.

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Michigan also ranks ninth in the number of new apprentices nationwide.

These registered apprenticeship programs are designed by industry-driven training programs for people seeking new careers while developing and preparing Michigan’s future workforce.

Apprentices save money versus traditional academic programs while earning a paycheck from day one.

“National Apprenticeship Week highlights one of the best opportunities to change your life and build a great career through earn-while-you-learn, hands-on training in the unionized skilled trades,” said Tom Lutz, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Milwrights.

Lutz also highlighted the debt-free nature of apprenticeships, which he recommended for anyone from high school graduates to those looking to start a new career.

During the programs, apprentices receive related classroom instruction, obtain paid work experience, and also receive a nationally recognized credential upon program completion.

The programs enable employers to immediately begin transferring knowledge from current to future high value workers at a wide assortment of jobs.

“By encouraging more Michiganders to explore rewarding apprenticeship opportunities, we can help more career-seekers gain in-demand skills without expensive tuition debt while employers get the skilled talent they need, creating more and better jobs,” said Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) Acting Director Susan Corbin.

In July, LEO was awarded more than $14 million in U.S. Department of Labor grants.

The state of Michigan now has more than $19 million in federal funding to support programs and activities with the goal of developing more than 6,000 registered apprentices over the next four years.

The focus will be on underrepresented populations, including youth, individuals with disabilities and veterans.

Apprenticeship opportunities and training are being offered in fields such as healthcare, construction, energy, information technology and mobility, advanced manufacturing and more.

“Apprenticeships are a proven approach for preparing workers for jobs while meeting the needs of business for a highly-skilled workforce,” said Jay LaNew, apprenticeship and business services officer for Capital Area Michigan Works! to the Lansing State-Journal.

Employers and job seekers interested in beginning a Registered Apprenticeship program are encouraged to visit www.Michigan.gov/Apprenticeship.

Those interested in applying should text MRCCAPP to (855) 424-2562 to apply, Lutz said.  

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