State Rep. Ben Frederick, right, provides testimony before the House Education Committee in September 2020 alongside Howard Hipes, Director of Training for the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers.
Legislation sponsored by Rep. Ben Frederick encouraging further skilled trades apprenticeship programs in high schools is on its way to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk following unanimous passage in the Michigan Senate.
Frederick’s legislation aligns the state of Michigan with current federal workforce mandates to allow federal funds to be more readily utilized by apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. He pointed to Perry Public Schools’ partnership with the Genesee Lapeer and Shiawassee (GLS) Building Trades Council as an example of successful innovation in a local high school, providing early exposure to students related to apprenticeship opportunities in Michigan.
“Modern apprenticeships are in emerging and high-growth sectors such as energy conservation, health care and information technology, in addition to traditional industries such as manufacturing and construction,” Frederick said. “Apprenticeships are a great option for people seeking a job in skilled trades without college debt and we should do all we can to make these programs accessible, especially as students consider their future careers.”
Joining Frederick for testimony was Howard Hipes, Director of Training for the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, which as part of the GLS Building Trades Council helped launch the apprenticeship readiness program for juniors and seniors at Perry High School.
“Registered Apprenticeship is a proven and effective system to reach workforce goals,” said Hipes. “Opportunities for Michigan students will be expanded by the adoption of this legislation and we hope to build upon the success we are seeing in Perry and elsewhere in Michigan.”
“At this time of increased federal and state support for the advancement of apprenticeship programs, this legislation is critical to allow us the flexibility to assist job seekers to enter these high skill and high wage careers without the burden of college debt,” GST Michigan Works! CEO Jodi Kerbyson said.
“In order for Michigan to compete globally for business and jobs now and in the future, we must be able to offer access to skilled talent,” said Justin Horvath, President and CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership. “Apprenticeships are a great way to accomplish this goal, creating a structured pathway that provides the necessary training that companies need while also increasing the employability and earnings potential of our workforce. Thank you to Representative Frederick for his leadership on this legislation, which will make it much easier to implement these vital programs.”