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MASCI and Michigan Building Trades hold Open House to give hands-on opportunity to educators

MASCI and Michigan Building Trades hold Open House to give hands-on opportunity to educators

Program showcased Registered Apprenticeships, State-of-the-Art Equipment and Technology

HOWELL, Mich. – The Michigan Apprenticeship Steering Committee, Inc (MASCI) and the Michigan Building Trades hosted an Educators Open House Monday to celebrate the kickoff of the 9th Annual National Apprenticeship Week. The event, held at the Operating Engineers 324 Construction Career Center, hosted educators across Michigan to help spread the word about career opportunities in construction and the skilled trades. The event featured speakers from the US Department of Labor, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, and the Michigan Department of Education, before educators got the chance to try hands-on experiences in a number of trade skills.

The program was part of the Management and Unions Serving Together (MUST) National Apprenticeship Week Road Show, a collection of events celebrating Registered Apprenticeship.

The keynote speaker was Russ Davis, Michigan’s State Director for the U.S. Department of Labor and Office of Apprenticeship. Davis provided information about registered apprenticeships, and how educators can support students interested in registered apprenticeship programs. The event also included presentations from the skilled trades participants who discussed the importance of registering workers as apprentices, how registered apprentices form the backbone of partnerships between businesses and skilled trades unions, and trends in apprenticeships and future opportunities. Educators learned about the application process and how schools can connect students with training programs.

The breakout sessions for educators involved opportunities to speak to instructors and apprentices from a number of trades, and then try different tasks including sessions in crane hoisting, concrete breaking, excavator operation, diesel technician repairs, carpentry and floor installation, bricklaying and masonry, pipe sweating and threading, and a tour of the ongoing Operating Engineers 324 90,000 square foot facility expansion job site.

“I think when we, as educators, are able to experience these things hands-on for ourselves, we can then educate our students and parents even better about these opportunities,” said Jennifer Kluesner, K-12 Career Readiness Consultant at Oakland Schools Intermediate School District. “It’s a little bit of a mindset shift, getting parents and families to know and understand there are these post-secondary opportunities in Registered Apprenticeships and the trades that have zero college debt and a very good income and benefits as well.”

The open house is part of National Apprenticeship Week Nov. 13-19, and was held at OE324’s Construction Career Center in Howell.

“The state Apprenticeship expansion section is a phenomenal growing team of people,” Scott Jedele, State Apprenticeship Expansion Manager for the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity said. “But the real work of expansion in Michigan is done by our partners. Our partners that do the work every day, in the training centers – our organized labor partners, our intermediaries, our employer sponsors, educators, and communities – grow the use of the model, and that’s most exciting.”

In addition to OE324, participants and co-hosts included Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers 2, Michigan Laborers Training & Apprenticeship Institute, Sheet Metal Workers 80, UA Plumbers 98, Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council and Management and Unions Serving Together, a collaboration between private construction companies and organized labor.

“MASCI is excited to raise awareness and help educators learn everything they can about the great opportunities for registered apprenticeships in good-paying construction and manufacturing jobs,” said Lee Graham, Chairman of the Michigan Apprenticeship Steering Committee (MASCI). “All of us in Michigan know we have roads and bridges to build and repair, power plants and clean energy installations to construct, high-tech factories coming online, and schools across Michigan to build. This is a great opportunity to empower educators to more effectively introduce students to these careers, show the value of these apprenticeships, and encourage others to explore educational and career opportunities in a fast-growing, in-demand sector of our economy.”

“Events like this Open House, and the MASCI Conference in December, work to bring together advocates for Registered Apprenticeship, and offer even more opportunities to the next generation.”