Lawmakers approve bills to increase apprenticeship programs in Michigan

Republican State Rep. Ben Frederick, right, testifies to the Michigan Legislature about...
Republican State Rep. Ben Frederick, right, testifies to the Michigan Legislature about apprenticeships with Howard Hipes of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers.(source: Michigan House Republicans)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 12:37 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Apprenticeship programs in high-demand careers would be more readily available for high school graduates under legislation that Michigan lawmakers approved this week.

Republican State Rep. Ben Frederick of Owosso sponsored the bill that would allow for federal funding to be spent on more apprenticeship programs. The Michigan House and Senate both have approved the bill, so it goes to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her consideration.

Frederick pointed to a partnership between Perry High School and the Genesee Lapeer and Shiawassee Building Trades Council as a successful innovation in exposing high school students to apprenticeship opportunities.

“Modern apprenticeships are in emerging and high-growth sectors such as energy conservation, health care and information technology, in addition to traditional industries such as manufacturing and construction,” Frederick said. “Apprenticeships are a great option for people seeking a job in skilled trades without college debt and we should do all we can to make these programs accessible, especially as students consider their future careers.”

Howard Hipes, director of training for the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, said apprenticeships are a proven and effective pathway for Michigan to reach workforce goals.

“Opportunities for Michigan students will be expanded by the adoption of this legislation and we hope to build upon the success we are seeing in Perry and elsewhere in Michigan,” he said.

Justin Horvath, president and CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, said skilled talent development through apprenticeships are key for Michigan to compete for jobs now and in the future.

“Apprenticeships are a great way to accomplish this goal, creating a structured pathway that provides the necessary training that companies need while also increasing the employability and earnings potential of our workforce,” he said.

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