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Apprenticeships in Oakland County and Southeastern Michigan

On behalf of our region's employers, labor organizations, and educators, I invite and encourage you to read this booklet (file size 1.64mb), which will acquaint you with apprenticeships in Oakland County and elsewhere. These apprenticeships can prepare you for good paying jobs that provide excellent benefits.

Oakland County's economy is increasingly knowledge-based. High-paying, low-skill jobs are being replaced with career opportunities that require technical skills and a good education. Indeed, the University of Michigan's economic outlook for Oakland County predicts that more than 3,000 automobile manufacturing jobs will be lost during the next three years, and that 31 percent of the county's new jobs for the same period will be in the high-tech skill service industries.

Not all of these jobs require a four (or even a two) year college degree. As an apprentice, for example, you can qualify for jobs in the skilled trades, culinary arts, health care, or social service sectors. You will work (and earn wages) while you receive on-the-job training and attend classes at a community college or an apprenticeship school.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT), those who complete apprenticeships in Michigan earn an average hourly wage of nearly $23 and receive a certificate of completion that is recognized throughout the United States. Moreover, a union-sponsored apprenticeship will award a candidate who completes the program a journeyperson's card, and college credits the apprentice earns can be applied to an associate's degree.

This booklet asks and answers several key questions and provides information about many occupations for which apprenticeships are available. I hope you will find it useful as you explore the lucrative careers that are available through the apprenticeship system.

L. Brooks Patterson