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Michigan Educators Apprenticeship and Training Association

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Study Concludes U.S. Companies Can't Find Needed Skilled Workers

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The Manufacturing Institute, associated with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), released on October 17, 2011, its most recent study of the workforce challenges faced by the manufacturing sector.

The bottom line is: all across the U.S., companies cannnot find the workers they need to get the job done:

  • 600,000 job vacancies in skilled positions are unfilled nationwide because of the lack of qualified workers
  • 5 percent of current manufacturing jobs are unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates
  • Employers expect the situation to worsen as workers retire and young people pursue work in other sectors
  • 64 percent of companies report that workforce shortages or skills deficiencies in production roles are having a significant impact on their ability to expand operations or improve productivity
  • 80 percent of companies indicated that machinists, operators, craft workers, distributors, and technician positions will be hardest hit by retirements in the upcoming years.

Click here for more info and a link to the full report.

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 February 2012 13:10

Demand up for construction, skilled trade workers

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DETROIT October 18, 2011 (AP) — Demand for construction and skilled trade workers is growing in Michigan, and apprentice programs are gearing up to help fill the need.

The increased demand is a boon to journeymen, apprentices and union officials who sweated out the past few years on unemployment or with part-time work as construction projects ground to a halt, The Detroit News reported today.

Don Kissel, director of a Detroit-area skilled-trade apprentice training program, keeps a list of out-of-work apprentices in his desk drawer at his Ferndale office. The list used to be three pages; now it fills barely three-quarters of one page.

"It's a sign people are starting to invest in the workforce," said Kissel of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights.

A comeback in commercial projects is behind the increased demand, officials said. Many projects are for businesses in education and health care. Lately, The News reported, more workers are enrolling in apprentice training programs, a union requirement for new workers.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget said the number of construction and related jobs in the state is projected to grow 6.8 percent between 2008 and 2018. Michigan has averaged 124,725 construction jobs a month this year.

The manufacturing sector is even reporting a shortage of skilled trade workers, said John Challenger, chief executive at Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based job outplacement consulting firm.

"They can't find people with skills in the requisite areas like welding, mechanics and machinery," Challenger said. "There's a skills mismatch."

The news is a bright spot in Michigan's struggling economy. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 11.2 percent in August, the third-highest in the nation for the period.

Frank Craddock, 49, of Trenton, was laid off after 17 years at an auto supplier and enrolled in a multiskilled maintenance program at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn. He worked as a millwright, but now the same job requires more skills, he said.

"They want you to know more than machine repair," said Craddock, who plans to begin looking for a job at the end of the semester. "They want you to know welding and pipefitting and even electric work now."


Detroit News: Demand Grows for Skilled Trades Jobs

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A Detroit News article from October 18 titled "Demand grows for skilled trades jobs" concludes:

At a time when Michigan's unemployment rate has increased for four straight months and is more than two percentage points above the national jobless rate, there is growing demand for construction and skilled trade workers in Metro Detroit and throughout the state.

To read the entire article:


MSNBC: ‘Skills gap’ hurts employers, job seekers

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Even with millions of Americans out of work, the industrial giant Siemens is having so much trouble finding qualified workers that, for the first time, it's had to hire recruiters:


RTI Required For Electrical and Fire Alarm Specialty Technicians

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By Dan O'Donnell, Chief
Electrical Division
Reprinted from Code Works! Fall 2010 newsletter from the Michigan Bureau of Construction Codes

Bureau of Construction Codes logoEffective September 1, 2010, the Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC), Electrical Division, implemented the statutory requirements set forth in 1956 PA 217, the Electrical Administrative Act. MCL 338.883e (1) and (2) and MCL 338.883h (1) and (2) of PA 217 requires apprentice electricians and fire alarm specialty technician apprentices in the state of Michigan to be participating in a training program approved by the Electrical Administrative Board (EAB) and implemented by BCC, Electrical Division.

The EAB authorized the US Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship (USDOL-OA) to be the approving agency for training programs throughout Michigan in conjunction with the statutory requirement as they have a long history of experience in the apprenticeship arena across many different disciplines. Electrical and fire alarm contractors and the apprentices they employ must register with the USDOL-OA and set up their individual apprentice training programs.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:16

Too Many Brain Surgeons, Not Enough Machinists

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Author and expert in economic trends Joel Kotkin says too many people in Michigan go to four-year colleges and come out with a lot of debt and no marketable skills. What Michigan needs, he says, are more people with mid-level skills, not advanced degrees.

Check out the following online articles for more details:


Last Updated on Monday, 26 September 2011 17:22

Code Update Required For 2011 License Renewals

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By Dan O'Donnell, Chief
Electrical Division
Reprinted from Code Works! Fall 2010 newsletter from the Michigan Bureau of Construction Codes

In order to renew a 2011 license for master electrician, journeyman electrician, and fire alarm specialty technician, an approved 15-hour code update course on the 2008 Michigan Electrical Code must be completed. Sign specialists are required to complete an approved 8-hour code update course.

Each instructor approved to teach the code update course is required to submit the original roster of course attendees to the Electrical Division. Since the rosters contain the names and license numbers of the course attendees, it is important the names and license numbers are legible, so the information can be transferred correctly to each licensee’s computer profile for use in renewing their license. If a profile does not indicate that the licensee has completed an approved code update course, the Bureau will be unable to issue a new license until the code update course is completed.

If the licensee has not already completed a 2008 code update course, it is important they do so as soon as possible in order to prevent a delay in the issuance of their 2011 license.

For a complete list of approved 2008 code update courses, visit the bureau’s website, click Divisions, click Electrical Division, and the courses are listed under Examinations and Licensing.

For questions regarding the code update process, contact the Electrical Division at (517) 241-9320.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:18

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Apprenticeship Trivia

In 1937, Congress passed the National Apprenticeship Law, aka the Fitzgerald Act, "to promote the furtherance of labor standards of apprenticeship." Via this Act, the Apprentice-Training Service (ATS) was established within the Department of Labor to carry out the objectives of the law. The ATS was later renamed the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) and is, as of this writing, the Office of Apprenticeship under the US. Dept. of Labor's Employment and Training Administration division.