The story shared in this post was written by Tyler Clifford, breaking news reporter at Crain’s Detroit and published on CrainsDetroit.com on January 23, 2018. Click here to view the original publication of this story on CrainsDetroit.com.
The Workforce Intelligence Network has launched a website to serve as a hub for employers and apprentices in Southeast Michigan in industries from manufacturing and robotics to health care and IT.
Miapprenticeship.org is part of the Advance Michigan Center for Apprenticeship Innovation initiative, WIN said in a news release. The initiative is funded by a five-year, $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, which is seeking to create 5 million apprenticeships in five years across the country, the release said.
The website offers a return on investment calculator for employers, a guide for operating registered apprenticeships and a hotline for information on programs. More than 40 employers and seven community colleges are participating in the initiative, which is expected to serve about 900 people seeking jobs in high-demand industries, WIN Executive Director Michele Economou Ureste said.
“We are developing a competitive Michigan workforce trained for in-demand occupations,” she said in a statement. “The apprenticeship website is the first resource of its kind to help streamline the registered apprenticeship process both for employers and those seeking apprenticeship opportunities, while also dispelling myths and stigmas that have hindered our state’s economic growth.”
A portion of the federal grant was used to fund the development of the website, but officials did not detail how much was spent. Henry Ford College program managers Callan Eschenburg and Scott Jedele were the chief architects of the website, with help from internal staff, Ureste said.
The website was designed to make it easy to register and apply for apprenticeship programs.
“There are now five steps for the employer and the participant. The website boiled it down from about 125 steps so it does not discourage participation,” Ureste said.
Once the grant expires in 2020, WIN plans to focus on other funding sources to sustain the initiative’s operation. Ureste is counting on Gov. Rick Snyder’s Marshall Plan for Talent, which would direct $10 million to apprentice programs that target veterans, women, racial minorities as well as underemployed workers and structurally unemployed individuals.
“We may apply for some of those funds to sustain our work,” she said. “We’re doing planning through Michigan Academy for Green Mobility Alliance and Opportunity Detroit Tech. We have until the end of July to make plans for sustainability.”