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SEEDS Launches Innovative Green-Collar Apprenticeship

News Release
May 10, 2021

NORTHWEST, MI – A first-of-its-kind apprenticeship program in northern Michigan will help prepare young workers for careers in the environmental sectors of the economy. Northwest Michigan Works! in a partnership with SEEDS EcoCorps, recently launched an innovative green-collar US Department of Labor registered apprenticeship for Landscape Management Technicians.

The program includes paid on-the-job training including green construction, reforestation, site restoration, and leadership skills. In addition, apprentices will receive related instruction including plant identification, safe equipment handling, and other education complementing the hands-on mentoring. The program is 2000 hours (one year or the equivalent of) and once complete apprentices will receive a National Credential as a Landscape Management Technician along with other Certificates of Completion. 

SEEDS is accepting applications for their first cohort of apprentices on a rolling basis with a limited number of positions available. Those interested must complete an application for an EcoCorps Crew Member position at and indicate interest in the apprenticeship program. The opportunity is flexible to work with those who are completing high school or college.   

“SEEDS is very excited to launch this unique workforce and leadership development opportunity for our communities,” said Jennifer Flynn, SEEDS EcoCorp, Program Director. “Apprentices will be working with skilled mentors and professionals to obtain a National Credential upon completion of the training and will be earning full-time wages during seasonal programming. This project was created to offer an earn-while-you-learn employment opportunity for youth ages 16 to 24 interested in learning about the possibilities available to them in green-collar careers.”   

SEEDS Ecology & Education Centers is a nonprofit organization established to implement local solutions to global issues at the intersection of ecology, education, and design. SEEDS EcoCorps is a career exploration and workforce development program. Crew members serve their community while gaining valuable work experience and trades training. Work includes historic preservation, parkland improvement, trail building, habitat restoration, small-scale construction, reforestation, and more.

Registered apprenticeships are developed through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and are a proven training method for employers to build a talent pipeline of highly skilled, educated employees. Registered apprenticeships are offered in over 1300 occupations and can be designed for any size or type of business. Northwest Michigan Works! provides technical assistance and administrative support for registered apprenticeships, including development and implementation guidance.

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Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.
- Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission