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Operating Engineers 324 host announcement of new grant to expand Registered Apprenticeships in Grand Rapids

Operating Engineers 324 hosted a press conference at our new facility on Grand Rapids to announce that the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has been awarded a $10 million federal grant to support the state’s registered apprenticeship expansion efforts and increase employment opportunities for Michiganders. OE324 Apprentice Alicia Harrell spoke, as did OE324 LMEC Director Lee Graham, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Ajax Paving Industries, Inc.’s Christina O’Brien, Cheryl Sanford from the Workforce Development Institute (WDI) , and representatives from Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

Grant funds will be used to establish the Michigan Statewide Targeted Apprenticeship Inclusion & Readiness System (MiSTAIRS) a partnership of LEO, the Michigan Works! network, Michigan Career & Technical Institute, Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education, and the Access to Apprenticeship Consortium including OE324 and other labor and contractors.

MiSTAIRS will enable more than 1,640 workers to enroll in Registered Apprenticeship programs over a four-year period in sectors – including the expansion of Pre-Apprenticeship programs that help transition future apprentices into a great career in the trades!