New Apprenticeship Resources Available To Oakland Co Employers

Metro Detroit Business NewsPontiac, MI - Oakland County employers who want to launch or grow a registered apprenticeship program have a variety of resources available to help pay for on-the-job training and classroom instruction, the two pillars of a registered apprenticeship.

A new digital platform that helps track the progress of apprentices is now available, as well, free to employers for the next four years.

A total of $500,000 is available to employers through the Oakland County Michigan Works! Advantage: Apprenticeship program to help pay for wages and/or required classroom training. Other funding for short-term apprentice training programs is available through the state of Michigan’s Going PRO Talent Fund. Eligible apprentices may also qualify for funding through federal sources. In addition, Oakland County has allocated more than $1 million to provide supportive services to eligible apprentices to help pay for related costs, including transportation, books/tools, childcare and housing/utilities. Oakland County Michigan Works! provided funding for 88 apprentices this year.

“Oakland County is happy to help employers build their workforce through registered apprenticeship programs,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “We started the program two years ago with one employer. This year, we have assisted 15 companies build apprenticeship programs.”

The program’s goal is to help even more employers build apprenticeship programs over the next year.

In addition to apprentices in the skilled trades and manufacturing sectors, Oakland County Michigan Works! has assisted employers with customized apprenticeship programs to train software engineers, accountants, childcare providers, telecom tower technicians, electric vehicle charging station installers and direct support specialists in the healthcare industry.

Oakland County’s Human Resources Department has led an effort across multiple county departments to launch registered apprenticeships, including help desk technicians in the Information Technology Department and plant operators with the county’s Water Resources Commission.

The typical apprenticeship lasts 1-6 years and includes a minimum of 144 hours of related technical instruction annually. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, for every dollar spent on an apprenticeship, the return on the investment is $1.47. Nearly 95 percent of registered apprentices are employed upon completion of their apprenticeship.

“Registered apprenticeship programs help create a highly skilled, diverse workforce,” said Liz Rivard-Weston, Oakland County Michigan Works! Apprenticeship Success Coordinator. “Furthermore, they increase employee loyalty and overall retention, lowering turnover costs. This ultimately leads to greater profitability for the employer.”

During a recent special workshop last week to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, state officials from the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) introduced the new RAPTOR (Registered Apprenticeship Program Tracking with Online Reporting) system, which enables administrators, employers and apprentices to track the progress of registered apprentices as they learn and earn on the job and take classes.

“Employers have historically built their own systems to track the progress of apprentices, but the RAPTOR tool now provides what we hope is an easier way to accomplish this,” said Callan Eschenburg, State Apprenticeship Expansion, LEO. “The reporting tool provides a dashboard to visually track an apprentice’s progress. This includes their on-the-job training and coursework, as well as progress toward mastering specific skill sets and earning certifications.”

To learn more about the financial resources available to employers or the RAPTOR system, call 248-858-5520 and select the nearest Oakland County Michigan Works! office.

Oakland County Michigan Works! operates centers in Novi, Oak Park, Pontiac, Southfield, Troy and Waterford, where they assist more than 105,000 job seekers annually. Services include career coaching, interviewing and job search workshops, placement assistance, training courses, and job trend information.

The centers also assist more than 3,000 employers seeking help with talent recruitment, apprenticeship programs, job fairs, candidate pre-screening, hiring and training support, layoff support, and labor market data.

Staff are available in-person or by virtual appointment to work one-on-one with job seekers to build their resumes, prepare for job interviews and help address other needs. To schedule an appointment, call 248-858-5520. The centers are hosting several virtual workshops for job seekers. A schedule can be found at

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