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New Skilled Trades Training Program Available in Benzie County

An innovative new program in Benzie County will focus on entry-level construction skills, solid work values, and employment readiness. Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Training (S.T.A.R.T.) is scheduled to begin in late June. The training is being organized by Advocates for Benzie County and supported by Northwest Michigan Works!

S.T.A.R.T. is an eight-week, no cost program with a weekly stipend provided for those who qualify.  Students must be 18 years of age and all skill levels, interests, and backgrounds are encouraged to register for orientation. The curriculum for the training is endorsed through the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights and allows an interactive approach to exploring a quality career pathway within the professional trades industry. 

“S.T.A.R.T. will enable students from all walks of life to participate in a short-term, pre-apprenticeship opportunity focused on an exceptional career in the building trades,” said Jason Reed, Organizer, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Co-chair of the S.T.A.R.T. program.

Only 15 candidates will be selected to participate in the training. Registration is available by emailing Evelyn Szpliet at or Mary Link at


Elise, Sarah and Elizabeth of Networks Northwest really made the Speak-Up Kalkaska Event successful, and we look forward to our continued partnership in completing the cooperative Master Plan Process.

Cash Cook, Kalkaska DDA Director