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LEO | $6.1M investment Will Expand Registered Apprenticeships in Non-Traditional Sectors and Occupations for Michiganders

Michigan Business Network
March 22, 2024 3:00 PM

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LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) today announced nine recipients of more than $6.1 million in State Apprenticeship Expansion 2023 Grant Program awards that will provide Michiganders with access to life-changing career opportunities through Registered Apprenticeships.

The funding will help future apprentices prepare and succeed in the program, while promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility by expanding access to Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in non-traditional sectors and occupations.

“The State Apprenticeship Expansion 2023 Grant Program will create more paths to good-paying, high-skill jobs for Michiganders, so they can ‘make it’ in Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “Registered Apprenticeships offer practical, hands-on training to help Michiganders develop in-demand skills and ensure businesses have the talent they need to expand right here in Michigan. Together, we will continue funding more low-cost paths to higher education and with the Michigan Guarantee, we can offer every high school graduate the chance to earn an associate’s degree or skills certificate at a community college for free. Let’s get it done.”

The grant program is focused on engaging Michiganders most severely impacted by COVID-19, including women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, English language learners and individuals without a High School Equivalency credential. Registered Apprenticeship participants earn competitive wages with scheduled pay increases and national industry recognized credentials. Median annual earnings for those completing a Registered Apprenticeship Program are currently more than $70,000.

“In Michigan, we’re creating an all-access approach by empowering Michiganders to build meaningful careers, and helping businesses grow with access to a skilled workforce,” said LEO Director Susan Corbin. “This is yet another important investment that helps level the playing field and supports those least often included in the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship, helping us deliver on our mission to close equity gaps, remove barriers, and help people on their pathway to economic prosperity.”

State Apprenticeship Expansion 2023 Grant Program recipients



Award Amount

Child Care Network

Ann Arbor


Michigan Golf Course Association

East Lansing


Michigan Primary Care Association



Michigan Works! Berrien-Cass-Van Buren

Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties


Michigan Works! Southwest

Branch, Kalamazoo, Calhoun and St. Joseph counties


Northwest Michigan Works!

Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford counties


Oakland County Michigan Works!

Oakland County



Grand Rapids


Upper Peninsula Michigan Works!

Upper Peninsula





“Registered Apprenticeship is a proven training model and has been an important tool in helping Michiganders secure prosperous economic futures for themselves and their families,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training. “There’s a place for everyone at the table of Registered Apprenticeship. By prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, the State Apprenticeship Expansion 2023 Grant Program will help welcome many more to the table.”

Grant recipients will work to establish new or expand existing U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Programs and related apprenticeship readiness solutions, including quality pre-apprenticeship programs, to ensure State Apprenticeship Expansion 2023 performance targets are achieved.

One of the grant recipients, the Michigan Golf Course Association, established a Registered Apprenticeship Golf Course Maintenance Technician Program in 2022. The innovative program enables Registered Apprentices to further their agronomy education, work alongside field experts to gain on-the-job learning, and gain a national credential. The program is a proven talent pipeline solution to support Michigan's $4 billion golf industry that includes nearly 800 golf courses and 60,000 workers.

"The Michigan Golf Course Association knows how important golf is to Michiganders and tourists," said Jada Paisley, Executive Director of the Michigan Golf Course Association. “To keep our courses in top-notch condition, we must get more people involved in the art and science of agronomy to consider job opportunities at golf courses. This Registered Apprenticeship program opens the door to help golf courses increase their workforce and offer advanced career opportunities.”

Steepletown, another grant recipient, is transforming lives within the urban core communities of Greater Grand Rapids through education, workforce development and community empowerment. The non-profit organization’s primary focus is to develop skills and opportunities for disconnected young adults, ages 18-24, and young families to attain employment that moves them out of poverty. Registered Apprenticeship can be an effective tool in meeting the goals of Steepletown.

“As an employer in early childhood education and a community-based, workforce development organization with an extensive partnership with West Michigan Works!, Steepletown has contributed significantly to the statewide initiatives and local efforts focused on building the early care and education workforce,” said Steepletown Executive Director Dick Bulkowski. “The State Apprenticeship Expansion 2023 grant will allow us to continue to innovate and work closely with cross-sector partners to reach underrepresented communities who are vital to Michigan's continued economic growth.”

Registered Apprenticeship results in a national, industry-recognized credential upon completion, supporting Governor Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults in the state with a skill certificate or college degree to 60% by the year 2030. More information about the state’s Registered Apprenticeship expansion efforts is available at Michigan.gov/Apprenticeship.


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