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Investing in Registered Apprenticeships: Building a Skilled Workforce for Michigan's Future
November 21, 2023
Jobs are key to unlocking opportunity, and for many Michiganders, it starts with a Registered apprenticeship.
Talent is distributed equally in this world but what’s not distributed equally is opportunity. It’s time to get serious about changing that. That's why registered apprenticeships are so important. Registered apprenticeships are an opportunity to learn a skill while getting paid. They’re pathways into good-paying jobs and bright futures. The kind of futures we want to see in Michigan.
As director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economy opportunity, I recognize registered apprenticeships as a cornerstone for creating a diversified economy and cultivating a skilled workforce poised for success in the 21st Century. There are nearly 20,000 Registered Apprentices in Michigan and more than 1,200 active registered apprenticeship programs. Michigan has the sixth-highest number of active Registered Apprenticeships in the nation, and we also rank seventh for the number of new Registered Apprentices and eighth for completers nationwide.
And with more than 520,000 Michigan jobs and approximately 45,500 annual openings in the professional trades projected by the year 2030, it has never been more important to spotlight these opportunities in critical fields. That’s why Gov. Whitmer recently announced her Race to Talent with Registered Apprenticeship campaign to grow Michigan’s skilled workforce.
As Michigan navigates the complexities of a rapidly changing economic landscape, LEO is steadfast in its commitment to expanding registered apprenticeship and training opportunities. Through collaboration with educational institutions, industry partners and local communities, we help Michiganders prepare for successful employment through programs that remove barriers and provide the skills necessary to start a successful career.
From the Michigan Reconnect program that provides tuition-free opportunities to earn an associate degree or skilled certificate to the Going PRO Talent Fund that provides training grants to businesses to help individuals secure employment—we want all Michiganders to know there are resources available to help them tap into these high-demand, good-paying jobs.
We remain committed to this mission because we know the benefits of registered apprenticeship extend far beyond the individual and business levels—they ripple through the entire state, contributing to a more robust and interconnected economic ecosystem. As registered apprentices become skilled professionals, they contribute to a cycle of growth, attracting new industries and investments to Michigan.
By investing in registered apprenticeships, we are not just shaping the future workforce; we are laying the groundwork for a resilient, dynamic, and inclusive economy that will benefit us all. Since 2019, LEO has brought in $90 million in state and federal funding to support the growth of registered apprenticeship programs in Michigan.
Registered apprenticeships can change the direction of someone’s life and have a positive impact on our economy. If you’re an employer, we ask you to consider exploring the creation of a Registered Apprenticeship Program. Career seekers benefit greatly from the Registered Apprenticeship training model. You can find more information at LEO’s Registered Apprenticeships website.
Together we can provide opportunities and help every Michigander reach their potential.
By Susan Corbin, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director