Want a new job? Whitmer’s administration is hooking Michiganders up with apprenticeships.

By Kyle Kaminski

February 21, 2024

More than $1.1 million in state grants awarded this month is set to help hundreds of Michigan workers access the training and skills they need to prepare for new, high-wage jobs.

MICHIGAN—State grant funding awarded last week through the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is set to help connect at least 200 Michiganders with registered apprenticeship programs, with the goal of putting them on the path to new, high-wage careers.

The state grant program—called the Michigan Statewide Targeted Apprenticeship Inclusion and Readiness System (MiSTAIRS)—is designed to expand apprenticeship opportunities for both English language learners and those without a high school diploma or equivalent credentials. 

And with more than $1.1 million in state funds awarded through the initiative this month, officials said they expect to enroll at least 200 Michiganders in new apprenticeship programs this year.

“By increasing access to education and training opportunities that lead to high-skill, high-wage careers, (MiSTAIRS) supports my vision to improve the quality of life of all Michiganders,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement announcing the state funding. “The recipients of these grants will grow registered apprenticeships through the lens of equity and inclusion, reflecting our commitment to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to ‘make it’ in Michigan.” 

Among the organizations picked to receive grant funding: 

  • Michigan Works! received $400,000 in grants to expand apprenticeship opportunities in Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren Counties.
  • Southwest Economic Solutions received $300,000 to boost programming in Detroit.
  • Mott Community College received $300,000 in grant funding to boost apprenticeship programs in Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee, and Tuscola counties.
  • Iosco Regional Educational Service Agency’s Adult Education program received about $120,000 to promote new apprenticeships and workforce training opportunities across Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Iosco, Ogemaw, and Roscommon counties.

The MiSTAIRS program is designed specifically to provide underrepresented populations with access to a “life-changing career pathway” by ensuring more workers are ready to enroll (and complete) a registered apprenticeship program—which can include paid work experience, related classroom instruction, and a nationally industry-recognized credential upon completion.

State officials said the funding is also designed to grow the middle class by removing barriers to employment, closing equity gaps, and matching employers with highly qualified employees. 

“These kinds of programs help open the doors of opportunity for individuals who often have doors shut on them,” said state Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint). “Funding equity-minded apprenticeship programs illustrates that in Michigan, marginalized and underrepresented residents will not get left behind. All Michiganders deserve a real chance to flourish.”   

Learn more at michigan.gov/apprenticeship

READ MORE: More Michigan women land good-paying construction trades jobs

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Author

  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

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