Employers Recognized for Successful Apprenticeship Programs
Employers who established Registered Apprenticeships with assistance from Northwest Michigan Works! were recognized for their programs that skill workers during a recent 2020 Michigan Apprenticeship Week virtual event. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Michigan Office of Apprenticeship and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) acknowledged the employers’ programs as a benefit to workers, communities, and the state.
“Apprenticeship Week was a perfect time to recognize employers who provide Registered Apprenticeship opportunities to develop and prepare Michigan’s future workforce,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training. “These opportunities, initially only found in fields like manufacturing and construction, have expanded to careers in energy, healthcare, information technology, and mobility to reflect the needs and demands of those industries.”
Two of the employers at the event, Boyne Resorts and Wolf Line Construction, shared a spotlight to explain how Registered Apprenticeship programs benefit employees and their company’s bottom line.
Representatives from both companies stressed the importance of Registered Apprenticeships for both themselves and their apprentices. Boyne has a Culinary Sous Chef Registered Apprenticeship Program that has seven Registered Apprentices working at different resort locations and is hoping to bring on 10 more in 2021. Wolf Line Construction currently has 18 apprentices in its Fiber Optic Lineworker Apprenticeship Program, with 15 more individuals waiting to start training. The Wolf Line apprentices include Jonathan Mandizha and David Looney seen in the accompanying photo holding their Apprenticeship Week certificates. They're currently working in Craig, Colorado where they are installing fiber. Wolf Line also recognized apprentices at their Boyne City and Ellsworth yards.
“I can’t say enough about our Registered Apprenticeship Program – it’s going to be our future,” said Barb Harmon, Director of Human Capital at Wolf Line Construction “Even if a worker doesn’t stay with our company, they can take the skills they’ve learned and grow wherever they land.”
“Registered Apprenticeship allows us to challenge and inspire team members to grow and hopefully retain them long term,” said Amanda Bomers, Boyne Highland’s Human Resources Director.
Michigan is poised to significantly expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities, thanks to more than $19 million in DOL grant funding focused on expansion programs announced earlier this year. A new state-level Apprenticeship Advisory Board with membership from industry, labor, secondary and postsecondary education will be established to provide guidance on innovation and implementation strategies for Regional Implementation Consortia across the state.
A criteria-based competitive Request for Proposals will be released in December to help fund the consortia work. Many regions already have groups working together that are well-positioned as potential partners for proposals. Activities will support the development of more than 6,000 registered apprentices over the next four years, including individuals from underrepresented populations.
Registered Apprenticeships are industry-driven, high-quality career training programs in which employers develop and prepare Michigan’s future workforce. Apprentices gain paid work experience, related classroom instruction, and a national industry-recognized credential upon program completion. The programs help employers begin an immediate transfer of knowledge from current to future high-value workers. Workers get a paycheck from day one while they build the right skills in a new career.
For more information on Registered Apprenticeships, visit nwm.org/Apprenticeships.
Networks Northwest always proves to be a valued resource for our local government planning efforts. No organization does a better job of convening partners, promoting collaboration, and reporting on the data than does Networks NorthwestTy Wessell, Leelanau County Commissioner