MASCI apprenticeship event helps educators raise awareness about rewarding Registered Apprenticeships
Good-paying, in-demand careers allow students to “Earn As You Learn”
HOWELL, Mich. – The Michigan Apprenticeship Steering Committee, Inc (MASCI) hosted an Educators Program Monday to celebrate the kickoff of the 8th Annual National Apprenticeship Week. Held at the Operating Engineers 324 Construction Career Center, educators from around the state of Michigan were treated to a program including keynote speakers from the US Department of Labor, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), and Michigan Department of Education, as well as panel discussions on the importance of registered apprenticeships in the skilled trades and their impact on Michigan jobs and economy.
The event welcomed over 200 educators and representatives from dozens of school districts, employment agencies, State of Michigan officials, the US Department of Labor, workforce development organizations, labor organizations, and more.
“MASCI is excited to raise awareness whenever and wherever we can to let people know 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 fix, 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 introduce educators, parents and students to these jobs, 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.”
The event was part of the MUST (Management-Unions Serving Together) Roadshow in celebration of the U.S. Department of Labor’s eight annual National Apprenticeship Week. Held at OE324’s Construction Career Center, the event focused on:
- 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.
- Introducing students to registered apprenticeships, the application process and how educators and schools can connect students with training programs.
Panelists at the event included officials from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Management and Unions Serving Together (MUST), the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, Michigan Laborers Training and Apprenticeship Institute, Associated General Contractors of Michigan, Saginaw Intermediate School District, and Operating Engineers 324.
“Between the billions of dollars already committed to infrastructure projects over the next decade and the billions more in private investment that will follow, the need for trained workers and the rewards of pursuing a skilled trades career have never been greater,” said Tom Lutz, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights. “Informed educators play an important role in connecting interested students to the opportunities offered by registered apprenticeship programs, helping fill Michigan’s skilled trades gap while at the same time giving students the chance to learn lifelong skills and start meaningful careers free from college debt.”
“Registered apprenticeships with the Department of Labor mean men and women in the program meet the highest federal standards and develop skills and knowledge that allow them to be the best at what they do and earn a paycheck even while they learn, so apprentices actually get good wages without accumulating debt,” said John Hartwell, Operating Engineers 324 Career and Outreach Representative. “Registered apprenticeships let businesses and other stakeholders know that the workers building our roads, schools and energy infrastructure are the best-trained, best-qualified professionals around. Apprenticeships are a great gateway for men and women across Michigan to build a rewarding career that can allow them and their families to enjoy a financially secure future.”
MASCI was initially formed in 1977 and serves in an advisory capacity to the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training in Michigan. They provide a forum whereby the entire apprenticeship community can express, discuss and promote ideas for the improvement and maintenance of the Registered Apprenticeship system in Michigan. From that beginning, MASCI has continued to provide dynamic leadership in assuring that our system of apprenticeship will continue to rank Michigan among the best in the nation.
The Committee’s present membership represents a broad cross-section of Michigan’s businesses and industries. It includes top officers from several major labor organizations along with leaders in technical education from community colleges and universities in Michigan and the State Department of Career and Technical Education. The US Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship and various Michigan public agencies provide governmental input and support to the committee’s mission. Finally, the public members-at-large are people with a long involvement in skilled trades training programs and bring many years of experience and invaluable expertise to the group.
The individuals and organizations that comprise MASCI, dedicate exceptional resources to advancing and growing Registered Apprenticeships. Both individually and as partners, MASCI members host and attend career outreach events, work with schools and districts on the development of curriculums, programs, and hands on opportunities to inform the students about the potential of careers in the professional trades and advanced manufacturing. MASCI has created materials to inform students and school professionals about the benefits of registered apprenticeships and their positive impact on careers, families, and communities.
Most importantly, MASCI is comprised of the very organizations that make Registered Apprenticeship possible in Michigan: labor groups that conduct the detailed, skilled training these careers need, and the companies and associations that provide the on-the-job training and careers that make these opportunities sustainable. The labor groups and colleges in MASCI represent the most high-tech, state of the art, advanced skilled trades training found in the country, with facilities throughout the state where apprentices get hands-on adaptive learning.
To learn more about opportunities in Michigan’s union construction trades, please visit MUSTCareers.org.