For Job Seekers For Employers Contact Us

Find Your
Service Center

For a listing of Michigan Works! One-Stop Service Centers by county, select your county or enter your zip code.

USDOL “Apprenticeship in a Day” – Big Rapids

An average of 10,000 Baby Boomers retire each day across the United States, taking the skills they have learned with them.  As a result, many employers are left with open positions because they can’t find employees with the skills needed to fill them.

U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) registered apprenticeships, which are a combination of on the job training and classroom learning, help bridge that talent gap. They are also a proven way of reducing turnover rates, increasing productivity and lowering recruitment costs.

On July 18th, Michigan Works! West Central held an “Apprenticeship in a Day” workshop at their Big Rapids service center. The day was modeled after a similar workshop, sponsored by the Michigan Educators Apprenticeship and Training Association in May.

Representatives from eight companies in Mecosta and Osceola counties took part.

They worked with Dave Jackson, their USDOL representative, who helped them complete

individual apprenticeship standards, standards that outline the agreement between the company, the apprentice and USDOL.

The eight companies in attendance and the apprenticeship standards they worked on included:

· Cargill Inc. – Millwright and Maintenance Tech

· City of Big Rapids – Wastewater Systems Operator

· H&R Screw – Screw Machine Operator

· Hamtech Inc. – CNC/Machinist

· Ice Mountain – Maintenance Tech

· Original Footwear – Maintenance Electrician

· Northern Precision Products – Screw Machine Operator

· Primo Tool Mfg. – CNC/Machinist

Representatives from several regional training providers were also on hand to help companies identify courses they offer, to help meet the in-classroom requirements for the apprenticeships.

Representatives from the following regional schools attended:

· Baker College

· Ferris State University

· Meceola Tech/ Mecosta-Osceola Career Center

· Montcalm Community College

· Muskegon Community College

Four companies completed the process and their paperwork has been submitted to the USDOL for registration. Those companies include Primo Tool, H&R Screw, Cargill Inc. and Northern Precision.

The other employers will now work on identifying the rest of the in-classroom training requirements needed and are expected to have registered apprenticeships within the next 30 days.

Michigan Works! West Central hopes to expand this event to our other counties in the future. If you are an employer interested in learning more about USDOL registered apprenticeships in Mecosta, Osceola or Newaygo counties contact Business Services Specialist Jon Eppley at For employers in Lake, Mason or Oceana counties, contact Business Service Director Merri Bennett at