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Whitmer hails Carpenters, Millwrights' new training center as key to good jobs and strong Michigan future


April 26, 2019       

Whitmer hails Carpenters, Millwrights’ new training center as key to good jobs and strong Michigan future 

WAYLAND, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Senator Debbie Stabenow today joined the Michigan Statewide Carpenters and Millwrights Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund at the opening of a new training center that they called a key pipeline to good-paying jobs for workers who will build Michigan’s infrastructure. The Michigan Statewide Carpenter and Millwright Skilled Training Center is located at 500 Reno Drive, Wayland, MI 49348.

 “The Skilled Training Center in Wayland is the kind of state-of-the-art educational facility we need in Michigan that will prepare the next generation of skilled trades professionals,” Whitmer said. “We are grateful to the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights and their business partners for investing in the workforce of tomorrow. On behalf of the State of Michigan, we’re excited to see the Wayland training center produce the highly skilled, highly trained professionals who are going to build our bridges, upgrade infrastructure and fix our damn roads.”

 MRCC Executive Secretary Treasurer Mike Jackson said: “Our Skilled Training Center in Wayland is designed to take hardworking men and women and turn them into dedicated professionals, trained in the hard skills of carpentry, millwrighting, and floor laying as well as the soft skills of communication, leadership, and teamwork. The men and women who will go through our training center are taking a step into a rewarding, challenging and good-paying career. They’ll be earning while learning, with state-of-the-art equipment, tangible, relevant curriculum, and teachers who are experts in their fields.  There is no better hands-on education for a carpenter, millwright or floor layer.”

 The Skilled Training Center is part of a statewide effort by the MRCC and its contractor partners to train and educate workers to fill thousands of job openings in Michigan’s high-demand skilled trades industry. The center is open to the public and anyone can apply to become an apprentice carpenter or millwright. Applicants simply need a high school diploma or a GED. Apprentices do not pay tuition and get good wages, healthcare and pension benefits while they study and train.

 “There’s incredible demand for skilled workers throughout our state, especially here in West Michigan, and local contractors want to hire skilled, local workers,” said Donna Pardonnet, executive director of Architectural and Construction Trades Michigan and chair of the Training Fund. “This new training center is good for business and the economy.”

 Apprentices at the MRCC’s training center will get hands-on experience and go through real-world simulations, using methods and tools that include some of the most advanced in the construction industry.

 “We cannot emphasize enough how in-demand highly skilled and highly educated trades professionals are to Michigan, in terms of demand and in terms of strengthening our middle class,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, acting director of Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan. “Thousands of jobs must be filled to ensure Michigan can compete in today’s economy, and the men and women who will be getting their education at the Skilled Training Center in Wayland are essential to our success. This huge educational investment by the carpenters and millwrights reflects their commitment to building a strong future for Michigan.”

 Highly trained skilled trades professionals are in high demand in Michigan, and experts anticipate the current shortage of such workers to continue well into the next decade. Skilled trades professionals such as carpenters and millwrights account for more than 545,000 jobs in Michigan coming open through 2026. Every year, businesses need 47,000 workers to fill job openings in the skilled trades. Careers in skilled trades typically do not require a four-year-college degree and pay 45% higher than Michigan’s median income.