Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced that the Michigan Department of Labor was given a federal grant directed toward the expansion of apprenticeship programs. The grant will be worth $10 million and look to focus on creating apprenticeship opportunities for women, people of color and those with disabilities. They will also look to target participants who were unable to obtain a GED or high school diploma.
“Apprenticeships are game-changers for people, especially people in poverty,” said Parks, the interim dean at the School of Workforce Development. “They can change their life because most students have to work when they go to college. You work and you get paid, and they pay for your tuition when you’re an apprentice. Parks said that GRCC has 800 apprentices at their schools getting trained in any number of fields. Apprenticeships, most people think ‘Oh, they’re manufacturing,’ “Parks said during an interview on Thursday. “Well, sure there are manufacturing apprenticeships but there are healthcare apprenticeships. There are IT apprenticeships. There are apprenticeships to be line workers in energy fields. So, there’s not any one field that can’t have an apprenticeship in it.”
The School of Workforce Development continues to recruit both from the middle school and high school levels and believe that this type of grant could be the key in solving the labor shortage many businesses are facing. Michigan hopes that these programs will also help them reach their goal of having 60% of their adults achieve a post-secondary education by 2030.