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USDOL “Apprenticeship in a Day” Workshops

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.

Several companies completed the process and their paperwork has been submitted to the USDOL for registration. 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.

A similar workshop was held September 5th in Fremont. Representatives from two companies in Newaygo county took part.

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 Jonathan Eppley at For employers in Lake, Mason or Oceana counties, contact Business Service Director Merri Bennett at