Looking for a career? Explore apprenticeships

Finishing high school is an amazing milestone in many people’s lives. However, entering the adult world might not be as glamorous. Especially if you haven’t landed on a path for your career. Luckily, in Genesee County, there are resources available for those who don’t want to take the traditional college route to their future, but rather jump right in and get going.  

For those go-getters, apprenticeship programs are a different avenue to consider. A huge benefit to going that route is the ability to earn a living while in training. It is also a great way to get a head start on your future. 

“It’s a career, it isn’t just a job that you are going into to make some money,” says Wanda Bigelow, apprenticeship manager at GST Michigan Works! “It’s something individuals want to do long term.” 

With the career pathway, individuals are guaranteed pay increases that are built into the program. However, that is not the only benefit of choosing this route. For many apprenticeships, employees don’t have to pay out of pocket for the training that is required according to Bigelow. 

“Typically, their classroom training is covered by their union,” says Bigelow. “If it isn’t, our organization is able to offset a lot of the cost.” 

Despite the cost savings, Bigelow wants people to know that this career isn’t for everyone. This is one reason she encourages those who are interested in apprenticeships to take GST Michigan Works! Apprenticeship Readiness Training program. The 11-week program is for individuals interested in building trade unions. Not only will this program expose participants to the trades, but it will also help them complete important trainings that will help them stand out when applying for apprenticeship programs. 

A typical day during the program includes either eight hours of classroom time or eight hours of hands-on training. At the end of the 11 weeks, participants walk away with six certificates including Hazardous Waste Worker, OSHA, Qualified Rigging & Signaling, Hazard Communication, First Aid/CPR, and NABTU MC3. These certificates set individuals up for a better opportunity to earn an apprenticeship. GST Michigan Works! also has partnered with several building trade unions that will consider interviewing class graduates because of their certifications.  

For those interested in this training, the next cohort starts on November 27. Interested participants can complete and drop off an application at GST Michigan Works! With a copy of their driver’s license. Interviews for the course begin the first week of November. 

For more information on the program, visit https://gstmiworks.org/job-seekers/registered-apprenticeship/.