Serving Bay, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, & Saginaw Counties

Apprenticeships Take Off Throughout Michigan

Apprenticeships Take Off Throughout Michigan

Registered apprenticeships are an industry-driven talent development strategy that combines on-the-job experience with formal classroom learning. Michigan was recently awarded $4 million from the United States Department of Labor to expand registered apprenticeships by 2020.

“Many employers in our region are looking to build their own talent pipelines,” explains Ann Marie Batkoski, apprenticeship success coordinator for the Great Lakes Bay Region. “Creating a registered apprenticeship program through the Department of Labor is an excellent way for employers to invest in both their company and their employees.”

It’s a strategy that works for Fullerton Tool of Saginaw. “We are proud to have a journeyman apprenticeship, developed over 30 years ago with Delta College,” says Patrick Curry, president. “Our apprenticeship program has evolved over the years and has recently been updated with the help of our employees. The sense of pride our team members receive upon completion is dynamic. It feeds the fuel of passion created in our workforce for them to be confident precision tool makers. This is not only one of the best ways to prepare future precision tool makers, it is also a terrific accomplishment for individuals – one they can complete while working and providing for their families for today and tomorrow.”

Fullerton, like a handful of other employers in the region, sees the benefits of investing up front to grow their own workforce. In fact, according to, registered apprenticeships have been a proven model of success for decades:

• Since 2014, the United States has added 125,000 new apprenticeships.

• Today, there are more than 500,000 apprentices in the United States.

• 89% of apprentices are employed after completion of their program.

• Apprentices earn an average starting wage of $60,000 per year.

• On average, apprentices earn $300k more than other workers over the duration of their careers.

• For every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity.

Throughout the year, Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! has hosted a number of apprenticeship informational sessions with employers, bringing in Marybeth Koski, apprenticeship and training representative with the Department of Labor. More sessions will take place in the new year!

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