Emily Williams is a young, single mother from Flint whose life was turned around in 2016. Through the Genesee/Shiawassee/Thumb Michigan Works! Agency, Emily was carefully screened and approved for an eight-week Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWT) through generous funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The ECWT Program is an apprenticeship readiness program specifically designed for the Genesee County Water Treatment environmental demands. She passed with flying colors and was accepted into the MI BAC Local 2 Refractory Bricklaying Apprenticeship program and went straight to work making $23.50 per hour plus health care and pension benefits.
Emily has worked steadily for ResCo Products on Zug Island, a manmade island located where the Rouge River flows into the Detroit River, enabling her to upgrade her living conditions for herself and her son. Because of the specialized environmental training through the ECWT Program, Emily has become a Confined Space Supervisor on special hazardous tasks.
Recently, however, Emily’s car was breaking down making it difficult to drive an hour to work and two hours back with construction traffic-- every day. So help came from her Father who loaned her a car so she could continue to go to work and continue in her apprenticeship program as well. Unfortunately, the transmission on the car gave out! Next help came in a form of a grant from the Lansing Chapter of NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) Tradeswomen Apprenticeship Grant. The grant award of $500 took care of most of the cost to replace the bearings on Emily’s car with a few checks from supportive villagers -- or in this case, construction community representatives -- and now her car is roadworthy. Emily is right back at work earning a paycheck and work hours toward completion of apprenticeship program requirements. Emily says, “I keep telling my Mom this career is the best thing that’s happened to me. I know she probably gets sick of hearing it”.
Addressing best practices in apprenticeship recruitment, AGC Director of Workforce Development Barbara Strachan highlighted several of Michigan’s excellent programs.
The Michigan Apprenticeship Steering Council, Inc (MASCI) Michigan Construction Career Day celebrating its 10th anniversary this May (https://vimeo.com/167752159), and the annual MASCI Excellence in Apprenticeship Award.
Two National Association of Women in Apprenticeship (NAWIC) programs were highlighted with videos: Lansing NAWIC MAGIC Camp (Mentor A Girl in Construction) for high school girls, a free, week-long camp that is a partnership with Eaton County RESA and Lansing Community College; and Project Accelerate (PA), a career exploration program for women 18 and older that was founded by Detroit NAWIC and AGC member, Rita Brown, in a partnership with Lawrence Tech University and Detroit-area contractors and building trades.
Apprentice readiness programs featured were:
The CPWR Program (Center to Protect Worker Rights) with funding from the Environmental Workers Career Training Program (EWCTP) along with the MI BAC Apprenticeship & Training, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 370 Apprenticeship & Training Program and the Operating Engineers Apprenticeship & Training program provided training targeted at Flint’s under-employed minorities and displaced persons and graduated 10 out of 10 participants and placed 8 into apprenticeships. This CPWR Program won two IMPACT awards from the Michigan Works! Agency.
Also featured was Access for All, a partnership of the Detroit Workforce Board, the MDOT and the building trades, where participants graduate with construction math and blueprint reading skills, OSHA 30 and the Multi Craft Core Curriculum (National Building Trades) certificates and ready to become apprentices.
Other Michigan presenters were Sally Corbin, CEO of USA Digital Media Services, who addressed the growing importance of communications and marketing; and Jillian Otten, Digital Marketing Coordinator of USA Digital Media Services, whose presentation focused on leveraging your Apprenticeship's brand using social media and branding techniques.
The International Foundation Educational Benefits Programs was in San Diego on January 16-19, 2017 with over 300 attendees.
Since 2008, MICCD is Michigan’s premier construction career exploration event.
Based on the National Career Day model, MICCD provides Michigan’s young people a chance to experience construction up-close, getting the chance to use real tools, materials and heavy equipment under the direct guidance of construction professionals from all sectors of the industry.
These young people will not only see what construction is, but learn of the training and education paths to secure the good paying jobs a career in construction provides.
This years event will take place May 4 - 5 at the Operating Engineers Training & Education Center in Howell, Michigan.
Learn more: www.michiganccd.com