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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Michigan Talent Investment Agency awards nearly $1.3 million to fund new Registered Apprenticeships

Grants will add nearly 500 new registered apprentices by fall of 2020

Contact: Stepheni Willis
Cell: 517-243-7423

May 1, 2019

LANSING, Mich. – In an effort to create new Registered Apprenticeship opportunities that will help address the skilled workforce talent gap, the Talent Investment Agency’s Workforce Development Agency recently awarded approximately $1.3 million in U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) State Apprenticeship Expansion grants to eight organizations.

Grant Awardee Location Grant Amount
Table of Grant Awardees
 Focus: HOPE  Detroit $75,000
 Schoolcraft College   Livonia $117,000
 Networks Northwest  Traverse City $120,000
 Michigan Works! Southwest  Kalamazoo $138,125
 Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids  Grand Rapids $150,000
 West Michigan Works!   Grand Rapids $210,000
 Kinexus  Benton Harbor  $224,675
 Michigan Works! Region 7B  Gladwin $240,000
  Total Amount   $1,274,800


“These grants will fund innovative Registered Apprenticeships that support Governor Whitmer’s jobs plan that is focused on creating more opportunities for Michigan residents to develop high-wage skills,” Stephanie Beckhorn, Acting Director of the Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan, said.  “These apprenticeships will result in the addition of nearly 500 new Registered Apprentices by the fall of 2020.”

In June 2018, the USDOL awarded State Apprenticeship Expansion continuation funds to TIA’s Workforce Development Agency to support these grants.  The goal of these USDOL grants is threefold:

  • To help advance Registered Apprenticeship as a workforce development strategy and postsecondary education career pathway that maintains the nation’s strong, adaptable, and highly-skilled workforce.
  • Support integrated, statewide apprenticeship strategies and state capacity to engage industry and meet the demand for new programs in both traditional and non-traditional industries such as, Advanced Manufacturing, Building Trades, Business Services, Cybersecurity, Healthcare, and Information Technology.
  • Accelerate state innovations to significantly increase apprenticeship opportunities for all workers, particularly for low-income individuals and underrepresented populations in apprenticeships including individuals with disabilities, minorities, returning citizens, veterans, women and youth, and take steps to facilitate their successful completion of apprenticeship programs.

There is a growing demand for jobs in the professional trades, but Michigan businesses cannot find enough people with in-demand skills to fill jobs that will help them grow and thrive.  By 2020, 70 percent of the jobs in Michigan will require some postsecondary education, but currently only 45 percent of Michigan workers have a certificated skill or degree, and Michigan needs to fill an additional 15,000 jobs in the professional trades every year until 2024.  Governor Whitmer, in her State of the State address, announced a new statewide goal of increasing the number of Michiganders between the ages of 16 and 64 with a postsecondary credential from 45 to 60 percent by 2030, and these grants will help work toward that goal, as Registered Apprenticeships contribute to postsecondary credential attainment.

Michigan has over 18,000 active Registered Apprentices who are earning while learning, according to the USDOL.  From an employer perspective, it is an opportunity to make an all-important investment in their workforce by training individuals in the skills they need to make their business successful, while, at the same time, creating a pipeline of talent that can continue to move up within the company as retirements occur.  From a student perspective, they have little or no college tuition debt while learning and earning skills for jobs that pay an average salary of more than $60,000 per year.

About the Talent Investment Agency (TIA)
TIA is the agency that combines Michigan Unemployment Insurance and Workforce Development and is responsible for their activities. Businesses need a talented workforce. Workers need the right skills to compete for available jobs. TIA programs are focused on job preparedness, career-based education, worker training, employment assistance and unemployment insurance. Please visit our website to see all that we offer.