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What if the "skills gap" is actually a "values gap"?

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Jen Guarino, a VP at Detroit-based Shinola, recently appeared on Michigan Radio's Stateside with Cynthia Canty program to discuss how to get more young people into skilled trades.

In an associated article on Michgan Radio's website, Guarino explores the notion that the "skills gap" in America is, in fact, a "values gap"...and how it can be overcome. In the article, she observes:

"At some point in our nation’s history, we stopped considering skilled trades viable, credible and honorable career options. We stigmatized them so much that we created a lack of interest and an overall devaluation of the trades in education, industry and society at large."

To read the full article and listen to the Stateside program, click here.




USNews: Obama's Budget to Boost Funding for Workforce Programs

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Obama's Budget to Boost Funding for Workforce Programs

The president's proposal will include billions of dollars aimed at connecting people to their first job.

President Barack Obama will make an ambitious pitch to Congress next week in his fiscal 2017 budget, asking lawmakers to approve nearly $6 billion to help more than 1 million young people gain work experience and nab their first job.

The U.S. is in the midst of the longest streak of private-sector job growth ever, according to the administration, with more than 14 million new jobs created during the past 70 months and 5 million jobs currently open​. Yet 1 in 7 young people ages 16 to 24 are either not in school or don't have a job.

"The challenge is that if employers are looking for experience, how does a young person convince a company to give her a first shot to show what she can do," Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council, said on a press call Wednesday afternoon.

To that end, the president's budget proposal will include a $5.5 billion request – nearly double the $3 billion included in last year's proposal – to connect people to their first jobs over the summer and throughout the year.

Read the rest of the US News article here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 February 2016 15:03

MEATA/MASCI 2016 Apprenticeship Conference, May 23-27

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2016 conference

The entire Apprenticeship community in the state of Michigan has combined their talents and resources to provide a comprehensive statewide conference highlighting pathways and requirements needed to develop, register, and coordinate successful U.S. DOL Registered Apprenticeship programs. Attendees will also learn about great K-12 programs that can serve as pipelines/gateways to apprenticeship.

Check out the Agenda-at-a-Glance PDF document for a complete schedule of events. Here are some highlights:

  • The registration table opens on Monday, May 23rd from 3-6 pm and will reopen on Tuesday, May 24th at 7 am
  • Breakfast is provided starting at 7 am from Tuesday through Friday and Lunch is provided Tuesday through Thursday
  • Presentation sessions run all day on Tuesday and Wednesday, on Thursday morning, and on Friday morning followed by a MEATA business meeting and officer elections
  • Thursday afternoon will be a fun half-day of hands-on activities (from basics wiring and carpentry to heavy equipment operating) as attendees team up to compete in the first-ever MEATA-MASCI Skilled Trades Challenge—so bring clothes that you won't mind getting a little dirty
  • If you're a golfer, we've arranged for an 11 am tee time on Monday at the Vassar Golf & Country Club (see the Agenda-at-a-Glance or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   for more details)
  • Join fellow conference attendees for a riverboat cruise on the Bavarian Belle on Tuesday night
  • Enjoy a world-famous Bavarian Inn dinner on Thursday night at which time we'll announce the Skilled Trades Challenge winners and conduct MEATA's famous Gift Exchange (bring an unwrapped gift item to exchange)

Cost to attend the conference is just $275 per person, and K-12 professionals and U.S. DOL employees can take advantage of a special rate of just $200! The fee includes all conference materials, as well as breakfast on Tue-Fri, lunch on Tue-Thurs, and dinner on Thursday!

Register online today for the conference or contact Phil Crockett via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone at 248-232-4196 to reserve your seat(s) for this must-attend event!

Interested in being a sponsor for the Skilled Trades Challenge? There are lots of opportunities to participate as a sponsor. Download the sponsorship form for complete details!

MEATA has also arranged for discounted lodging at the Bavarian Inn Lodge at rates of $104 per night for standard double, premium double, or king rooms and $164 per night for suites. Deadline to take advantage of these rates is Friday, April 22, 2016. Reservations can be made by calling the Bavarian Inn Lodge toll free at 1-855-652-7200. Be sure to mention that you're with the MEATA group or use group number 12776G when registering to get the discounted conference rate.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 April 2016 12:18

U.S. and Switzerland to partner on apprenticeship program

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At a June 25, 2015, press conference in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Dept. of Labor announced a collaboration with Switzerland to launch an apprenticeship program in the U.S. modeled after the Swiss vocational education system. The U.S. and Switzerland are planning to sign on July 9, 2015, a Joint Declaration of Intent to collaborate on this venture and to exchange policy information and best practices in vocational education and training.

In Switzerland, students as young as 15 sign 3- or 4-year contracts with an employer’s apprenticeship program, which pays them as they learn skills, according to Martin Dahinden, Swiss ambassador to the U.S. Two-thirds of 16-year-olds in Switzerland choose to start their careers via an apprenticeship as they attend school.

Read SHRM's full article here!


Yahoo Finance: 'The other 4-year degree’: Why everyone’s talking about apprenticeships

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Apprenticeships are having a moment.

Youth employment rates are still abysmally low in the U.S. (for 16- to 19-year-olds, the unemployment rate is 17.9%, nearly three times the national rate) and college has never been pricier. Apprenticeships, which some have dubbed “the other four-year degree,” offer a low-cost way for young people to get jobs and an education without incurring loads of debt.

The better-looking, higher-earning sister of the internship, an apprenticeship matches workers up with employers who offer one to four years of job training. The average starting pay for apprentices is $15 an hour, double the federal minimum wage. At the end of a program, workers are rewarded with an industry-recognized certificate and, ideally, a full-time job offer.

Apprentices earn an average starting salary of $50,000 a year and go on to earn $300,000 more over their lifetime than those with just a high school diploma, according to the Department of Labor.

Read the complete article here!

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MEATA/MASCI 2016 Spring Apprenticeship Conference
Begin: 05-23-2016, 16:00
End: 05-27-2016, 12:00
Location: The Bavarian Inn Lodge, 1 Covered Bridge Lane, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
The must-attend event for anyone involved in the development and delivery of U.S. DOL Registered Apprenticeship programs in the State of Michigan!

more ...

Apprenticeship Trivia

In 1934, the Federal Committee on Apprenticeship was appointed by the Secretary of Labor to serve as "the national policy-recommending body on apprenticeship" in the United States. The FCA assumed its responsibilities with respect to apprentices and their training under the industrial codes formulated by the National Recovery Administration.