Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Announces State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant

LANSING, Mich., March 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has announced the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Foundation/Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC) will receive a $1.1 million State Apprenticeship Expansion grant to support the development 427 Registered Apprenticeships in critical energy sector job roles.

"The Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC) is in its 12th year of collaboration and delivering results for the energy industry in Michigan," said Sharon Miller, MEWDC Co-Chair and Director of Strategic Talent Pipelines at Consumers Energy. "The grant award will support our partnerships to deliver high quality work-based learning with 25 energy sector employers, our unions, community colleges, K-12 school districts, and the state's Michigan Works! Agencies to build outstanding career opportunities for Michigan residents that will support the Michigan energy sector for decades."

Tracy DiSanto, MEWDC Co-Chair, and Manager of Workforce Planning and Development at DTE, was also selected to a new state-level Apprenticeship Advisory Board. The board consists of members from multiple industry sectors, labor, secondary and postsecondary education, workforce development and the U.S. Department of Labor Michigan Office of Apprenticeship. The board will provide guidance on innovation and implementation strategies to expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs statewide.

The Michigan Chamber Foundation (MCF) will serve as the lead partner and as a fiduciary for the duration of the grant.  As a statewide business-led organization, the Chamber provides the ideal combination of capabilities, resources and relationships to serve as a neutral convener for the State Apprenticeship Expansion programs.

"Increasing access to Registered Apprenticeship programs means more opportunities for job seekers to earn while they learn, gaining in-demand skills and a nationally recognized credential in a critical industry," LEO Acting Director Susan Corbin said. "At the same time, it helps local Michigan businesses fill a continuous talent pipeline by providing a stream of qualified candidates who are trained and certified based on the employer's needs."

MEWDC is an industry led partnership of 50+ energy representatives dedicated to building career awareness around current and future workforce demands in Michigan's energy sector. The consortia will implement activities to accelerate the growth of apprentices with a focus on underrepresented populations – including minorities, females, youth, and veterans – in high-skill, high-wage, in-demand energy sector careers.

To increase the overall understanding of apprenticeship opportunities in the state, LEO recently launched the Michigan Registered Apprenticeship Data Dashboard. This online tool allows users to explore registered apprenticeships in regions across the state, including how many active apprentices there are and the occupations and industries in which they are employed.

To learn more about MEWDC: http://consortia.getintoenergy.com/michigan/

SOURCE Michigan Chamber of Commerce

For further information: Bob Thomas, Michigan Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 517-927-6134; Kristin Beltzer, MEWDC, 517/449-2241