Macomb Community College apprenticeship program offers new option for recruiting, retaining and developing skilled employees
By: Jeanne M. Nicol, APR, Director, Public Relations Macomb Community College
Employers looking for effective ways to recruit, retain and develop talent have an important new option available. Macomb Community College’s Michigan Apprenticeship Program Plus (MAP+) program prepares high-school students and others with the in-demand skills employers are looking for in formats designed to meet the needs of individual companies.
MAP+ is a partnership with Grand Rapids Community College and is funded in part by a $3.9 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration under the American Apprenticeship Initiative. The program offers industry-driven, structured training that allows employers to develop current employees, as well as to interview and hire students. The training and education related to MAP+ may have financial incentives associated through complementary funding programs.
“In an increasingly tight market for skilled workers, MAP+ is great way for employers to jump start their company’s recruiting or to retain and develop their existing workforce,” said Joe Petrosky, dean of Engineering and Advanced Technology at Macomb. “Macomb is committed to making meaningful contributions to meeting the workforce needs of Michigan employers and maintaining the competitiveness of our state.”
Macomb will provide manufacturing-related programs in skills such as computer numerically controlled machining, tooling, robotics, tool-and-die making, welding and industrial maintenance. The college will also support other traditional apprenticeship areas such as those in construction, design and climate control. The Grand Rapids program includes a focus on the information technology sector.
- Apprenticeship programs that combine on-the-job training with theoretical and practical classroom and lab instruction to prepare workers for industry. Employment standards are set by individual employers as well as joint apprenticeship committees, which register the apprenticeships with the DOL. On completion of an apprenticeship, the student is awarded a DOL certificate and a Macomb certificate of apprenticeship, signifying that he or she is a skilled craftsperson or tradesperson.
- Employee-in-training programs that are solely regulated by the individual employer but, like apprenticeships, also combine on-the-job training with classroom and lab instruction. Employee-in-training programs often are based on the same educational plans as apprenticeships, but offer the employer a greater degree of flexibility. On completion of an employee-in-training program, the employee is awarded ac certificate signifying he or she is skilled in the particular craft or trade designated by the employer.
- Internships and summer jobs that emphasize on-the-job training rather than merely providing employment. Internships, which can be can be paid or unpaid, provide real-life job training and can allow college students to receive college credit. Internships and summer jobs allow employers to scout out new talent and get temporary help without committing to permanent new hires.
Students interested in participating in MAP+ in Macomb County are offered the chance to complete apprenticeship readiness or industrial readiness classes at Macomb’s South Campus in Warren. Students typically begin in classes where they learn foundational skills necessary to enter an apprenticeship or prepare for other employment, such as shop arithmetic, machine tool blueprint reading, industrial safety and trade-related preparation. Students who successfully complete all four classes receive an Industrial Readiness Certificate.