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November 15-21, 2021: Apprenticeship Week

WHEREAS, Registered Apprenticeship is an elite workforce training model that provides paid, relevant work experience, related classroom instruction, and a United States Department of Labor (USDOL) national credential that allows workers to earn a living while acquiring the skills employers demand in a variety of occupations; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan's apprenticeship network continues to grow the number of opportunities to ensure more students and job seekers gain in-demand skills without extensive tuition debt, while employers get the talent they need to grow and thrive; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan is among the national leaders in Registered Apprenticeships, having more than 1,000 registered apprenticeship programs and more 18,500 active apprentices; and,


WHEREAS, organized labor has a long and strong history of promoting, providing, and training the vast majority of apprentices in Michigan, and continues to bring good skills and high-paying careers with retirement and other benefits while supporting our efforts to reach the Sixty by 30 goal to help close Michigan's widening skills gap; and,


WHEREAS, a new state-level Michigan Apprenticeship Advisory Board, comprised of 18 leaders from industry, labor, education, and the military, was established to provide guidance to Regional Implementation Consortia across the state in order to expand Registered Apprenticeship programs; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) champions efforts designed to provide a proven system of public-private partners to support and operate successful Registered Apprenticeship programs; and,


WHEREAS, the USDOL awarded Michigan a $10 million State Apprenticeship Expansion Equity and Innovation grant to expand new apprenticeship opportunities by more than 1,640 to benefit those most severely impacted by COVID-19; specifically women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, and individuals without a High School Equivalency credential, diploma, or equivalent; and,


WHEREAS, LEO is working to expand Registered Apprenticeship programs for youth with disabilities by conducting outreach, engaging employers, and developing opportunities for careers in information technology, health care, and manufacturing; and,


WHEREAS, LEO, in partnership with the USDOL Office of Apprenticeship, has contributed to apprenticeship expansion through support of sector partnerships, employer incentives, and the establishment of the Apprenticeship Success Coordinator function within the Michigan Works! network, resulting in more than 2,500 new apprentices since 2017; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan has enacted bipartisan legislation to allow more veterans to use G.I. Bill benefits towards securing Registered Apprenticeship opportunities. USDOL, LEO, the Michigan Department of Military Affairs, and other veterans' apprenticeship stakeholders continue to work together to expand veteran opportunities and network with relevant apprenticeship partners; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan's efforts to date have provided a substantial increase in Registered Apprenticeship diversity, equity, and inclusion, resulting in career pathway opportunities for underrepresented populations;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 15-21, 2021, as Apprenticeship Week in Michigan, as we continue to expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities and work toward our statewide goal of increasing postsecondary credential attainment to 60 percent by 2030.