Today’s Apprenticeships Close Skill Gaps

Apprenticeships have almost reached the status of a buzzword in the discussion over how to close the skills gap. State Senators are introducing bills to make apprenticeships more accessible to high school students. Meanwhile, officials in Maryland are expanding a high school apprenticeship program that started in two counties out to the rest of the state.

And while connecting high school students with apprenticeships is critical, many employers are also introducing or expanding their own apprenticeship programs – as they seek to turn entry level employees into masters in their field.

You could say that apprenticeships have gone back to their roots.

Read more…

2018 Newsletter









Compassion-Centered Training Develops Patient-Centered Caregivers

Apprenticeship Institute, with partner Michigan Career and Technical Institute, offered two free Certified Nurse Aide classes in Detroit.  They were so successful we’re happy to announce the continuation of this training for 2019!

Twenty students participated in this intensive ten-week program designed to prepare students for professional employment as Certified Nurse Aides.  Students received soft skills training, classroom instruction, and hands-on laboratory skills before participating in a clinical on-the-job experience to prepare them for the workplace.

Several participants were parents of children at Hutchinson Middle School in need of training and employment.

We are thrilled to report that all of program participants are successfully working in their field, and the parents are providing additional stability in the home and to their children.

Our Students Say…..

“I liked school because it was a good and new experience for me and I always wanted to work in the medical field. It taught me to work better as a team. I liked the school because my class encouraged each other to do better. It was a good opportunity to grow and to better yourself. You can excel in any job with proper training and dedication.” ~ S.L.

“I liked school because it was an opportunity to learn and grow. It helped me better myself and to be able to provide more for my children. And because my daughter saw what I did and what I learned, she decided to take the class herself!” ~ L.A. 

“I loved this class. I’ve been trying to get into the medical field for years now and I’ve finally gotten it. It’s everything I wanted and our instructor is such a great teacher.  And I believe that this class should go on to give other people a chance.  I wanted a change of career. That’s why I chose this class. It’s GREAT!” ~ Ms. Brown

“I really liked this CNA class. One reason why I appreciate this class is because it is 10 weeks long.  The class being ten weeks long was a plus because once the class was over, I was confident that I could pass the State tests….Another reason why I like the class is that it coincided with my children’s school hours.  When my children didn’t have school, neither did I and for us with young ones, that is truly a blessing.” ~ BTC

“This was a good experience.  I’m glad I had the chance to be in the first class.  Seeing everything and getting hands-on experience. I loved how well the class is instructed and organized. Everything was provided – scrubs, shoes, and equipment.”
~ A. Homesly

In Appreciation

2018 was a year of growth and knowledge-building for Apprenticeship Institute. We collaborated with a variety of outstanding non-profits from whom we learned a great deal. We look forward to continued partnership in working together toward a better future for Detroit residents.

Our Deep Gratitude is Extended To:

Detroit Public Schools Community District and Hutchinson Middle School for graciously hosting the CNA program in their building.

DHHS Pathways to Potential Success Coaches for working diligently to identify and inform participants.

Michigan Career and Technical Institute for trusting Apprenticeship Institute to deliver their high-quality programming and be their Detroit representative.

Michigan Rehabilitative Services for providing the screening services and funding for many of our students.

Center for Community Based Enterprises for their assistance in learning about developing worker cooperatives for each of our programs.

Coalition on Temporary Shelter and Federation of Youth Services for acting as primary grant applicants and all the work included in the grant application process.

What’s Next

We are working on a variety of new apprenticeships, worker cooperatives, and summer programs for 2019.

Summer-Youth Programming targeting graduating high school seniors and students with truancy histories will be offered in partnership with Employment Advocacy Group in fields such as landscaping, culinary, caregiving, and construction. Summer youth programming is designed to be the first step toward a paid apprenticeship.

Pre-Vocational Training is now a component of our apprenticeships.  Participants receive readiness training to prepare them for success in their apprenticeships. Pre-vocational training varies based on the knowledge and skills necessary for success. Curriculum is specifically targeted to each apprenticeship program. For example, CNA candidates will receive math review,  begin learning medical terminology and participate in conflict resolution training while Construction Craft Laborer laborer candidates will review measurements and fractions, soft skills training, and job site safety.

New Apprenticeships are being designed in a variety of fields. 

Construction Craft Laborer – Construction laborers are familiar with the duties of other craft workers and with the materials, tools, and machinery they use. Often working as part of a team with other skilled craft workers, construction laborers carry out a variety of assigned constructions tasks such as site preparation and cleanup, material handling, and basic carpentry.



Culinary – In partnership with Detroit area restaurants, AI is developing a Certified Fundamentals Cook apprenticeship. This year-long program will prepare participants to begin a family-sustaining culinary career.




Tree Trimming – In partnership with the Davey Tree Experts Company, Apprenticeship Institute will begin offering tree care pre-apprenticeship programming.  Successful participants will be fed into Davey’s apprenticeship program.





Landscaping – Apprenticeship Institute is developing a landscaping program targeted for late 2019.


Healthcare Apprenticeships


There is great interest by the healthcare industry in Registered Apprenticeship and some initial success in registering and implementing programs. Employers and unions see the value of the structured training model to prepare workers for the discipline of healthcare occupations. Applying an apprenticeship approach offers the potential to significantly improve worker skill development and retention and improve patient care. All healthcare apprenticeship programs meet and most exceed state and federal requirements. Registered Apprenticeship can be an integral part of healthcare reform by providing rigorous training to frontline healthcare workers that helps professionalize and stabilize these occupations. It also prepares employees to be able to climb a career ladder into higher-level occupations. The model is currently being evaluated by a joint HHS-DOL study, but anecdotal evidence from providers shows that Registered Apprenticeship helps to address several key issues in healthcare:

Recruitment and Retention

Job seekers who have a clear understanding of position requirements and have an opportunity for advancement along a career lattice are more likely to remain in their jobs longer. The “earn while you learn” aspect of the apprenticeship program helps to retain workers as they become loyal to an organization that invests in them and helps advance their careers. Soft skills instruction such as problem-solving, communications and stress management prepares new hiresworkplace challenges. And finally, the mentoring component supports new hires as they acclimate to the demands of the job. Employers agree that the model helps create a pipeline of workers that start at the entry-level and advance to higher positions.

Cost-effective Training Method

Staff replacement and recruitment are among the highest costs to healthcare providers. By increasing retention, recruitment costs decrease. Employers indicate that they prefer training their own employees to recruiting new hires. The chief operating officer of Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston said, “Investing in improving worker skill sets is less costly than recruitment expenses.”

Improved Quality of Patient Care

Healthcare professionals trained through Registered Apprenticeship gain knowledge, hands-on experience and confidence, which in turn improves the quality of patient care, according to employer interviews. Additionally, most apprentices go through programs that exceed state and federal requirements which have made them better at their profession.

Increased Diversity

The model is helping to increase diversity, according to healthcare providers, not only for the entry-level occupations but also as a pipeline and career ladder to higher level jobs. A goal of many of the providers is to create a workforce that approximates the composition of the patients they serve.


  • Ambulance Attendant (EMT)
  • Biomedical Equipment Technician
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Advanced Certified Nursing Assistant Geriatric
  • Certified Nursing Assistant Restorative Certified Nursing Assistant Dementia
  • Certified Nursing Assistant Mentor Contour Wire Specialist
  • Denture Dental Assistant
  • Dental Equipment Installation and Service
  • Dental Laboratory Technician Electro-medical Equipment Repairer
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Embalmer
  • Health Care Sanitary Technician Health Support Specialist Health
  • Unit Coordinator Home Health Aide Home Health Director Laboratory Assistant
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Long-term Care Nurse Manager
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Medical Secretary
  • Medical Transcriptionist Nurse
  • Licensed Practical Optical Instrument Assembler Optician
  • Optician (optical goods)
  • Orthotics Technician
  • Orthotist Orthodontic Technician
  • Paramedic
  • Pharmacist Assistant
  • Pharmacy Support Lattice Pharmacy Service Associate Level I
  • Pharmacy Support Technician Level II Lead Pharmacy Technician Level III
  • Podiatric Assistant Prosthetics Technician
  • Surgical Technologist Veterinary
  • Laboratory Animal Technician

SOURCE: A US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Report discusses apprenticeships in healthcare. 


Apprenticeships as a Workplace Solution

This is an excellent article from the Chicago Tribune on the possibilities and challenges of apprenticeship in the workforce.  Read the full article here….

Here are some interesting excerpts…

“Much like the Obama administration, the Trump administration has been a vocal supporter of apprenticeships. President Donald Trump in June signed an executive order calling for doubling the amount of federal grants that support apprenticeships to $200 million.”

“Apprenticeships represent a cost for companies, but research shows that the programs can be well worth the investment.”

“In addition to addressing skills gaps, apprenticeships are being used to combat high unemployment among youths in disadvantaged communities.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Opportunity in July announced the launch of Apprenticeship Plus, a pilot program targeting 16- to 24-year-olds, funded by $1.5 million in federal Labor Department grants that will be spread across nine programs around the state. More than 300 youths will be trained in construction, health care, IT and manufacturing.”

Read the full article here….

Why Apprenticeships Make Financial Sense for Students

Thinking about how to pay for college is enough to give most people a headache. With a degree from a two-year community college costing $15,120, and a four-year degree at a public college averaging $56,840*, most students are forced to take out loans that can haunt them for years after graduation.

Once debt is incurred, it must be re-paid regardless of whether or not the student completes their degree or is unable to find a job in their field.  The graduate working in a coffee shop and making $9 an hour is paying back loans just like the graduate making a nice living using their education.

Apprenticeships offer a different option:

Get paid to learn

With a traditional college degree, students can expect to wait until completion of their degree to begin earning a living in their field. Apprenticeships are paid learning experiences.