Forbes: Why We Need to Bring Back Vocational Training in Schools

Forbes recently published an article titled "Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools".

The article concludes, among other things, that "The demise of vocational education at the high school level has bred a skills shortage in manufacturing today, and with it a wealth of career opportunities for both under-employed college grads and high school students looking for direct pathways to interesting, lucrative careers. Many of the jobs in manufacturing are attainable through apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and vocational programs offered at community colleges."

Read the complete article here.


Michigan Receives ApprenticeshipUSA Accelerator Grant

June 2, 2016 -- Today the Department of Labor announced the award of $10.4 million in ApprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grants to help expand and diversify registered apprenticeship programs nationwide. These grants are part of ApprenticeshipUSA, the department’s coordinated effort with industry and education leaders, nonprofits, and local governments to highlight the benefits of apprenticeship and expand the use of this time-tested, earn-while-you-learn model.  Awards were made to 51 states and territories and the District of Columbia. 

These accelerator grants will help states develop a strategic plan and build partnerships for apprenticeship expansion and diversification with State education, workforce and economic development systems.  States will also receive support to develop strategic plans for encouraging businesses to launch Registered Apprenticeship programs in high-demand industries including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, IT, construction, and transportation.

These investments are part of a historic bipartisan Congressional effort to appropriate funds specifically for apprenticeship for the first time, and align with President Obama’s bold challenge to double and diversify the number of apprenticeships by 2019

Each Accelerator grant of $200,000 will allow states, including Michigan, to develop a strategic plan and build partnerships for apprenticeship expansion and diversification with state education, workforce and economic development systems.

In addition, in the coming weeks, the department will announce the availability of an additional $50 million in State Expansion Grants for those looking to expand their capacity to collaborate with employers and start new apprenticeship programs across diverse industries and communities.

Both of these ApprenticeshipUSA State Grants are designed to help states plan and implement strategic state strategies to expand Registered Apprenticeship across the country.  Grantees will utilize the grants to help state governments integrate apprenticeship into their education and workforce systems; engage industry and other partners at scale to expand apprenticeship to new sectors and new populations; support state capacity to conduct outreach and work with employers to start new programs; provide support to promote greater inclusion and diversity in apprenticeship, and implement state innovations, incentives and system reforms. By investing in state strategies for growing Registered Apprenticeship opportunities, these funds will help strengthen the foundation for the rapid and sustained expansion of quality apprenticeship nationwide.

For more information on this funding announcement please see the links below:

MEATA's 2018 Spring Apprenticeship Conference a Huge Success!

MEATA's 2018 Spring Apprenticeship Conference took place on May 22-25 at the Holiday Inn Resort West Bay Beach in Traverse City. This was MEATA's biggest conference ever, with around 180 people attending the event. The highlight of the conference was the very first Apprenticeship in a Day WORKShop during which a total of 12 companies/organizations completed AND registered their Standards of Apprenticeship with the U.S. Dept. of Labor in just a single day!

For a summary of the important accomplishments that happened at the event, please check out the Thank You Letter to Participants from MEATA Chair Janene Erne.

There were also tons of great presentations and learning sessions during the conference, including:

  • Roger Curtis, Director of Michigan's Department of Talent and Economic Development, was Wednesday's Keynote Speaker and he unveiled Michigan's new Experience Sooner apprenticeship marketing campaign
  • Non-traditional Programs with a Twist on Intermediary Credentials: Agriculture and Marine Technology
  • A New Apprenticeship Opportunity for Artificial Intelligence Technicians
  • Registered Apprenticeship for Workforce Development Specialists
  • Women in the Trades
  • Michigan's Talent Pipeline Management Efforts
  • Everything Apprenticeship Providers Need to Know about EEO
  • A spotlight on the Michigan Apprenticeship Steering Committee, Inc. (MASCI)
  • Tours of L. Mawby Vineyards and Michigan Local Hops (a 200-acre hops farm)

Copies of a handful of the Powerpoint presentations and other documents from the conference are available for download from the site's Documents section.

A Google Photos album contains pictures from the Apprenticeship in a Day signings. A second Google Photos album with pictures from the signing as well as from the rest of the conference can be viewed here.

Here are some links to press coverage of the conference and the State of Michigan's unveiling of the Experience Sooner campaign:


Master Level Conference Sponsor


Journey Level Conference Sponsors

What if the "skills gap" is actually a "values gap"?

Jen Guarino, a VP at Detroit-based Shinola, recently appeared on Michigan Radio's Stateside with Cynthia Canty program to discuss how to get more young people into skilled trades.

In an associated article on Michgan Radio's website, Guarino explores the notion that the "skills gap" in America is, in fact, a "values gap"...and how it can be overcome. In the article, she observes:

"At some point in our nation’s history, we stopped considering skilled trades viable, credible and honorable career options. We stigmatized them so much that we created a lack of interest and an overall devaluation of the trades in education, industry and society at large."

To read the full article and listen to the Stateside program, click here.



Presentations Available from MEATA's 2017 Fall Drive-In Conference

As part of the National Apprenticeship Week festivities in Michigan, MEATA held its 2017 Fall Drive-In Conference on Thursday, November 16th in the Bert Walker Hall Community Rooms on the campus of Jackson College (2111 Emmons Rd, Jackson, MI 49201).

Highlights of the conference included:

  • Roger Curtis, director of Michigan's Department of Talent & Economic Development, discussed the new Michigan Career Pathways Alliance
  • Attendees learned about the successful Downriver Career Technical Consortium CTE program in partnership with Henry Ford College and the UAW-Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant
  • Jackson College and Michigan's Dept. of Corrections shared details on how they are preparing returning citizens to become productive members of the workforce through the Prison Education Initiative and the Vocational Village program
  • Jackson County's Career Readiness Taskforce spotlighted its efforts to drive quality CTE experiences and awareness of apprenticeships into 100% of the county's middle and high schools
  • The day ended with a tour of the Jackson Area Career Center (across the street from Jackson College)

Copies of the conference presentations are available for download here!

And check out JTV's interview of Roger Curtis that was filmed at the conference.