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Gov. Whitmer Announces Funding to Provide Life-changing Career Pathways Through Registered Apprenticeships


February 14, 2024



Gov. Whitmer Announces Funding to Provide Life-changing Career Pathways Through Registered Apprenticeships

Organizations will assist English language learners and individuals without a high school diploma or equivalency


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) awarded more than $1 million in competitive grants to organizations that will provide underrepresented individuals with access to life-changing career pathways through Registered Apprenticeships.


The Michigan Statewide Targeted Apprenticeship Inclusion and Readiness System (MiSTAIRS) provided the funding with the goal of significantly expanding Registered Apprenticeship opportunities for English language learners and individuals without a high school diploma or its equivalency.


“By increasing access to education and training opportunities that lead to high-skill, high-wage careers, the Michigan Statewide Targeted Apprenticeship Inclusion & Readiness System supports my vision to improve the quality of life of all Michiganders,” said Governor Whitmer. “The recipients of these grants will grow Registered Apprenticeship through the lens of equity and inclusion, reflecting our commitment to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to ‘make it’ in Michigan.”


MiSTAIRS leverages ongoing efforts in the Michigan Adult Education system, providing underrepresented populations with access to a life-changing career pathway by ensuring readiness for enrollment and completion in a Registered Apprenticeship Program. In 2022, more than 30,000 learners enrolled in an adult education program in Michigan.


“The Michigan Statewide Targeted Apprenticeship Inclusion and Readiness System is a transformative initiative that provides an onramp to career opportunities for Michiganders who are frequently left behind,” said LEO Director Susan Corbin. “MiSTAIRS helps us close equity gaps and remove barriers to employment by providing opportunities for adult learners to gain workforce skills and earn an industry-recognized credential while completing their high school diploma or equivalency.”


The following organizations have been awarded competitive grants to significantly expand Registered Apprenticeship Program opportunities to 200 Michigan English language learners and individuals without a high school diploma or its recognized equivalency.



Geographical Area

Total Award

Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren

Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren Counties


Southwest Economic Solutions

City of Detroit


Mott Community College

Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee and Tuscola Counties


Iosco Regional Educational Service Agency Adult Education

Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Iosco, Ogemaw and Roscommon Counties






“As one of the State Senators representing the City of Detroit, I am thrilled for my community with the announcement of the $300,000 award for Southwest Economic Solutions in Senate District 1,” said state Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor). “The goals of MiSTAIRS align with my values of promoting equity and justice and removing barriers for marginalized communities. I look forward to the positive impacts this grant will have on our community.” 


"I extend my gratitude to Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) for their invaluable support in granting Mott Community College $300,000 to enhance Registered Apprenticeship opportunities,” said state Senator John Cherry (D-Flint). “This investment will create equal pathways to success for everyone, boosting economic mobility and equity in our community. I’m proud that my colleagues and I prioritized this funding, making it possible for us to make a real difference in people's lives."


“I am thrilled to hear that Mott Community College is receiving this sizable grant — this means the college can grow and improve more apprenticeship programs for Flint community members, including English language learners and folks who don’t have a high school diploma,” said state Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint). “These kinds of programs help open the doors of opportunity for individuals who often have doors shut on them. Funding equity-minded apprenticeship programs illustrates that in Michigan, marginalized and underrepresented residents will not get left behind. All Michiganders deserve a real chance to flourish.”   

“As the grandson of a UAW member and the son of a union carpenter — neither of whom had college degrees — I know first-hand the transformative power that an apprenticeship has,” said state Rep. Joey Andrews (D-St. Joseph), who represents portions of Allegan, Berrien and Van Buren counties. “Learning a profitable trade while attaining a diploma or GED will put more people in line for jobs with family-sustaining wages and liveable benefits.” 


“This grant award will help find people who would otherwise fall through the cracks and set them up for a lifetime of success,” said state Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit). “I’m proud of the work this administration is doing to help folks who need just a hand up to get themselves on the path to self-sustainability.”


“We are making sure we have systems in place to support those least often included in the benefits from Registered Apprenticeship, including women, people of color and individuals with disabilities,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training. “These grant recipients will expand existing and develop new programs, and better prepare job seekers through Registered Apprenticeship programs.”


Registered Apprenticeships are an industry-driven, high-quality training model employers use to develop and prepare Michigan’s future workforce. Apprentices gain paid work experience, related classroom instruction and a national industry-recognized credential upon program completion.


Boosting awareness and use of Registered Apprenticeships supports LEO’s efforts to educate Michiganders and grow the middle class by removing barriers to employment. It also closes equity gaps, expanding the talent pool and matching employers with qualified employees to grow and sustain a vibrant economy.


More information about LEO’s efforts to expand the use of Registered Apprenticeships are available at