span data-preserver-spaces=”true”>We had the opportunity to sit down with Scott Jedele, the administration manager with apprenticeship expansion of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. Scott explained what LEO does, what registered apprenticeships are, and how they fit within LEO. He also explained how LEO is involved in the process and the value registered apprenticeships bring to employers.
LEO provides connections to solutions to grow businesses and communities. The solutions are often innovative, providing a lot of connections, not just for business and community, but also for affordable housing and tourism. Scott’s department attracts, grows, and retains talent so that Michigan has the workers they need to continue to grow.
Scott also explained a registered apprenticeship is part of the function of the United States Department of Labor, and registered apprenticeships, unlike apprenticeships in general, as well as internships, is recognized by the department, and actually is a structured training program, proven to rapidly help employees and workers develop the right skilled employees.
“Through LEO, we connect people with solutions, A Registered Apprenticeship is a premium solution for growing talent. Talent in the view of employers are workers with the right skills,” Scott told us. “A registered apprenticeship program provides both the safest and highest quality option, for most skill development opportunities and for job seekers, It’s a premium education option and then connecting job seekers with the employment opportunities is part of the function that the department oversees and promotes.”
There is high value to the employer. A registered apprenticeship program eliminates (with the employer) the typical 2-6 year time period when the worker might be in school or in college learning skills that might not be the desired skills for the job. Instead of waiting for that whole time period, LEO can immediately start the process of making sure that the apprentice is learning the right skills that the employer needs to be executed.
“We have, in Michigan, around 1,000 occupations that are listed in registered apprenticeship opportunities and a little less than 20,000 active registered apprentices. We currently carry that goal to increase the number of apprentices year over year of at least 15%. We do have goals for expansion. The industries that the registered apprenticeships serve are construction and manufacturing healthcare, Information technology, and business and finance – (where) the apprenticeship model can help workers get the skills they need,” Scott explained.
LEO became involved because over the last several years there has been a recognition that college tuition/ debt is too high. The goal is trying to reduce debt nationally that workers get into when preparing for a job. Michigan has expansion grants which help to provide reimbursement to employers for the extraordinary cost for apprenticeship and education models and provide pretty decent incentives for workers, as well. Employers eligible for these reimbursement programs are employers who offer registered apprenticeship programs.
So now what? How does this all tie in? “Apprenticeship success coordinators are roles set up inside Michigan works agencies. The coordinator is set up in each region of Michigan (there are 16 regions) so there are 16 apprenticeship success coordinators, over the last couple of years, these positions have been growing even more and more into the right source for connections for employers, job seekers, and regional promoter and subject matter expert for using the apprenticeship model, that applies that you workers have the right skills and that you have the talent that you need as an employer,” said Scott. The success coordinators can connect a potential employer for talent, through apprenticeship readiness programs, and through survey data and assessments can help connect them through someone who is a good fit for an apprenticeship that they employer is offering. These coordinators also help the employer gets started down the path of having their own program.
To find out more about registered apprenticeship programs, an employer would connect with the Michigan Works program coordinator. The way they can find these regional success coordinators is – find a list at michigan.gov/apprenticeship.