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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Secures $14M in Apprenticeship Grants

Federal funds will help Michigan employers fill thousands of projected openings in high-skill, high-wage, high-demand careers

July 30, 2020

Contact: Mike Murray, 517-275-1820

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has been awarded more than $14.3 million in U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) grants to support Registered Apprenticeship programs throughout the state.

The federal funds will help Michigan employers fill thousands of projected openings in high-skill, high-wage, in-demand careers in sectors such as Advanced Manufacturing, Construction, Energy, Healthcare, Information Technology and Mobility.

“Employers across all industries are increasingly turning to apprenticeships to help grow their talent and address skills gaps in the workforce,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “These grants will help Michigan further these efforts and help employers and workers meet the demand for a skilled workforce and rewarding career opportunities.”

LEO was awarded nearly $9.5 million through the USDOL’s “Building State Capacity to Expand Apprenticeship through Innovation” grant program to strategically scale the use of the national Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) model in the state. The new Michigan Registered Apprenticeship Innovation Network program will accelerate the addition of more than 5,230 workers to fill some of the 547,120 job openings projected by employers.

LEO was also one of just 14 recipients of the USDOL’s Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grants. The $4,881,369 in grant funding – which was pursued in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Education – will support the Michigan Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Network program. It will develop 1,024 Youth Registered Apprentices and, through the engagement of LEO’s Michigan Rehabilitation Services, will ensure at least 124 of those apprentices are youth with disabilities.

“These programs are vital to Michigan's economic success," said LEO Director Jeff Donofrio. "This funding not only ensures vital programs are available for students and job-seekers to prepare for in-demand career options, it also helps businesses grow and thrive in Michigan when they have a highly-skilled talent pool to select from." 

The program will serve youth enrolled in secondary or postsecondary education, with a focus on the underrepresented. Youth ages 16-24 will also be co-enrolled in RAP, gaining national industry-recognized credentials and immediately filling talent needs for Michigan employers.

The grant applications were prepared and submitted by LEO's Office of Employment and Training. State Apprenticeship Expansion awards to LEO over the past 3.5 years now total more than $21.5 million.

More information about Registered Apprenticeship in Michigan is available at Michigan.gov/Apprenticeship.