Jackson Area Manufacturers Association receives $780k in grants for underrepresented populations


Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — The Jackson Area Manufacturers Association has received $780,000 in grant funding to develop 260 new registered apprentices through a new grant aimed at creating more opportunities for underrepresented populations.

A total of more than $6 million will be distributed to underrepresented populations to develop more than 2,300 registered apprenticeship opportunities in Michigan, according to The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).

The state apprenticeship expansion grants have been awarded to nine regional implementation consortia to increase and develop registered apprenticeship opportunities.

Funds provided by the grant awards will help support 200 employer sponsors for Registered Apprenticeship Program costs, including on-the-job learning and related technical instruction.

“Increasing access to Registered Apprenticeship programs means more opportunities for job seekers to earn while they learn, gaining in-demand skills and a nationally recognized credential in a critical industry,” LEO Acting Director Susan Corbin said in a press release. “At the same time, it helps local Michigan businesses fill a continuous talent pipeline by providing a stream of qualified candidates who are trained and certified based on the employer’s needs.”

Regional Implementation Consortia will lead expansion activities to develop more than 2,300 apprentices with a focus on underrepresented populations – including minorities, females, youth, individuals with disabilities and veterans – in high-skill, high-wage, in-demand careers in advanced manufacturing, construction, energy, healthcare, information technology and mobility sectors.

Lead partners for the nine Regional Implementation Consortia grant recipients include:

  • Jackson Area Manufacturers Association (260 new Registered Apprentices; $780,000 grant award)
  • Michigan State AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute (440; $1,100,000)
  • Michigan Works! Region 7B / Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! (250; $735,750)
  • Michigan Works! Southwest (176; $528,000)
  • Networks Northwest (100; $300,000)
  • Oakland County Workforce Development / Oakland County Michigan Works! (250; $625,000)
  • The Michigan Chamber of Commerce Foundation / Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (427; $1,108,666)
  • Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! (200; $550,000)
  • West Michigan Works! (200; $525,800)

“These grantees are partners committed to incorporating best practices for serving underrepresented populations and managing quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship readiness programs – all in an effort to create a robust service delivery model that benefits Michigan workers and employers,” said LEO’s Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn in a press release. “Registered apprenticeship expansion allows us to help more individuals gain paid work experience and related classroom instruction, usually with little or no cost to the individual.”

The grantees will lead statewide and/or local program implementation activities to establish new or expand existing Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

Regional Implementation Consortia partners include employers, labor, Michigan Works! Agencies, secondary educational partners, postsecondary institutions and others.

Employers interested in sponsoring new Registered Apprenticeship Programs or expanding existing programs may be able to work with Regional Implementation Consortia to become part of the expansion efforts.

Additionally, LEO will issue a second RFP opportunity making available more than $5 million for further state expansion in April 2021.

To increase the overall understanding of apprenticeship opportunities in the state, LEO recently launched the Michigan Registered Apprenticeship Data Dashboard.

This online tool allows users to explore registered apprenticeships in regions across the state, including how many active apprentices there are and the occupations and industries in which they are employed.

To support Michigan’s registered apprenticeship expansion efforts, a new state-level Apprenticeship Advisory Board has been created.

The board consists of members from multiple industry sectors, labor, secondary and postsecondary education, workforce development and the U.S. Department of Labor Michigan Office of Apprenticeship. The board will provide guidance on innovation and implementation strategies to expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs statewide.

The board’s first meeting will be held virtually on March 17; once established, the schedule for future meetings will be available at Michigan.gov/Apprenticeship.

To learn more about registered apprenticeship in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/Apprenticeship.

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