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Operating Engineers offers earn-while-you-learn training to fix the damn roads

Operating Engineers offers earn-while-you-learn training to fix the damn roads

 – The governor ran her campaign on it, the state unlocks the money to fix it, but the real work is done in part by the men and women of Operating Engineers 324.

Workers are trained at a 555-acre site in Howell, equipped with everything they would need to learn to actually fix the damn roads. They’ve been doing it since 1967 when the facility broke ground.

Working on I-75 just north of the city, we are working on I-94 in the city of Detroit, if you go out to Jackson, if you go to M-59 right here between Howell and Pontiac, those are all projects that Operating Engineers are working on right now and will be for the duration of the summer,” Dan McKernan said.

“We noticed a big demand of people wanting to get into the trade because it’s a great way to make a living. It’s a great satisfaction at the end of the day. You go home at night and myself, previous years, I can’t even believe that I got paid to work that day,” said John Osika.

It pays well too. On average an apprentice can get paid $18-$20 dollars an hour, health care and retirement.

“It’s an earn while you learn model. From the first day that you start as an apprentice, you’re making money. You’re not accumulating debt, but rather, actually getting paid for the time it takes you to go through that apprentice program, whether it’s the three year or four-year technician program, you’re earning money that whole time,” McKernan said.

After you complete it you’re on your way to becoming a journey person, ready to literally hit the ground running.

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