This blog post was originally published on May 9, 2018 on WIN’s “Jobs & Workplace” blog on and written by Michele Economou Ureste. Click here to view the original story on

According to the U.S. Department of Labor there are nearly 16,000 active apprentices earning while learning in Michigan companies. In the past year, Michigan saw 42 new companies register apprenticeship programs and 2,300 apprentices begin their journeys in various industries.

With more than 1,000 occupations recognized as apprenticeable, the opportunity for businesses to develop the talent they need is well within reach. Yet some business owners and HR professionals still hesitate to embrace apprenticeship based on the misleading perception that registering an apprenticeship program can be an expensive or onerous process. The Advance Michigan Center for Apprenticeship Innovation and its partners seek to disprove those perceptions.

Accordingly, AMCAI held the first Apprenticeship in a Day workshop in collaboration with the Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship, Michigan Educator’s Apprenticeship and Training Association and Southeast Michigan Community Alliance. The event, held in early April, demonstrated how streamlined the process can be.

This workshop served as a pilot for a larger AiD event happening at the upcoming MEATA Spring 2018 Apprenticeship Conference, scheduled for May 22-25 in Traverse City, where approximately 20 businesses will participate in the first official Apprenticeship in a Day workshop.

During the half-day AiD pilot in April, four companies were taken through the steps to build their Apprenticeship Standards and customize their program’s required on-the-job and classroom learning, and were offered information about potential funding support. Decision makers were in attendance from the business community, as well as USDOL OA Apprenticeship Training Representatives, community college apprenticeship coordinators who assisted with the development of Related Technical Instruction and Michigan Works! Business Services Representatives.

Key components of an apprenticeship program were established for all businesses that participated in the event, such as acceptance qualifications, apprentice supervision, wage progression and related technical instruction. Of the four companies participating, two officially registered their apprenticeship programs with fully signed DOL apprenticeship standards, a third employer obtained final signatures within days of the event and one employer gained the knowledge necessary to add additional occupations to an apprenticeship program the company had already established.

Each company shared their experience at the conclusion of the workshop:

  • Patrick M. Lambrix, human resource manager for TWB Co. LLC in Monroe, officially registered TWB’s mechatronics apprenticeship. “We had been toying with the paperwork to register our apprenticeship for the past six months to address the skills gap we’re facing, especially as many of our workers near retirement,” Lambrix said. “Having all of the resources we needed in one room helped us finalize our RTI and tackle some of the finer details we needed to address. If any business is on the fence about registered apprenticeship, this workshop will be the decisive point for them to move forward.”
  • Dana Beaurem, human resource manager, and Dave Ridgeway, maintenance supervisor for ArcelorMittal in Detroit, also took advantage of the day’s comprehensive resources to gain official signoff on the company’s registered apprenticeship. “I didn’t expect so much detail. What I had trouble figuring out on my own, I could tap into the expertise in the room to finalize in hours,” Beaurem said. “Apprenticeship is a must, and this was the perfect way to expedite the process and get all of your questions answered in one place. It was also beneficial to learn about the funding resources that may be available to us.”
  • “On my own, it didn’t click how easily registering an apprenticeship comes together,” said Diahann Stanfied, human resources manager for Standard Die International in Livonia. “Working with Heather [Keller, apprenticeship coordinator for Henry Ford College] and Marybeth [Koski, ATR, USDOL OA] got me where I needed to be, and I’m looking forward to finalizing the registration of our apprenticeship very soon.”
  • “I came to the Apprenticeship in a Day workshop to get a better understanding of the process for establishing and revising an apprenticeship program, because we already had registered apprenticeships we wanted to modify to better suit new needs at the company,” said John Tucker, director of human resources for PTM Corp. in Fair Haven. “With the information provided, I have what I need to go back to my company to amend our standards and begin adding new roles.”

Not only did these companies benefit from the Apprenticeship in a Day workshop, WIN also added a new occupation to its registered apprenticeship program: workforce development analyst. Developed with support from WIN’s research team, two individuals are already identified to be enrolled. This is the second occupation in WIN’s registered apprenticeship program, along with workforce development specialist, an occupation with two current apprentices at WIN.

Companies interested in developing or finalizing a registered apprenticeship are still eligible to register for the MEATA Spring 2018 Apprenticeship Conference for the Apprenticeship in a Day workshop taking place May 24.

For additional apprenticeship resources, please visit or call the Apprenticeship Hotline at (734) 229-3559.

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