ABC of Michigan Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

November 11, 2020

CONTACT: Jimmy E. Greene
517.853.2545     [email protected]

Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan is excited to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, a nationwide celebration that brings together business leaders, career seekers, labor, educational institutions, and other critical partners to demonstrate their support for apprenticeship. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared the week of November 8-14 Michigan Apprenticeship Week, and we're proud to acknowledge ABC apprentices and celebrate with her. 

Statewide, ABC of Michigan is undertaking an aggressive messaging campaign to recruit talent throughout the state for merit shop contractors. 

"We believe there are many underemployed citizens in Michigan who simply don't know how to begin the pathway to a career in the skilled trades, and we're determined to change that," said Jimmy Greene, president of ABC of Michigan. "Our local chapters and training partners are making great strides every day to train the next generation of skilled trades workers."

The Greater Michigan Construction Academy (GMCA), ABC Greater Michigan Chapter training partner, trains more than 600 students annually who work for area construction companies.  

"Apprenticeships are a particularly effective way to create career pathways with upward mobility and strong earning potential," said Stephanie Davis, president of GMCA. "Because apprentices receive a paycheck, it's a great option for those with families to support, including many veterans."

The Associated Builders and Contractors of Southeastern Michigan recognized the need for highly skilled employees and founded the Southeast Michigan Construction Academy (SEMCA) over 30 years ago. SEMCA provides craft education to more than 400 apprentices a year in electrical, carpentry, and HVAC.

"SEMCA is proud to offer the earn and learn apprenticeship model with students working during the day and coming to class at night," said Deanna Schafer, Director of Education at SEMCA. "Apprentices are taught by master's in their craft and gain industry-recognized credentials through the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER). Students will leave SEMCA debt-free with hands-on knowledge to ensure a successful career in construction."

Apprenticeships provide workers with sturdy rungs on the ladder of opportunity and offers employers the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses. And yet in America, they've traditionally been an undervalued and underutilized tool in our nation's workforce development arsenal. It is estimated that one million craft professionals will be needed by 2023.

"The average starting salary upon graduation is $60,000. An apprentice will earn an average of $300,000 more in wages and benefits over his or her career than peers who haven't apprenticed," said Davis. "Apprenticeships offer a smooth pathway to the middle class and a college degree for those who wish to continue their education and training."

Nationally, in 2019 alone, ABC members invested $1.5 billion to educate and upskill more than 1.1 million course attendees in craft, leadership, and safety education to advance their careers in commercial and industrial construction. In September, ABC was awarded the Pledge to America's Workers Presidential Award at a White House ceremony for its achievements in workforce education and fulfilling its 2018 pledge to recruit and upskill at least 500,000 workers by 2023.


Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan is a statewide association serving Michigan's commercial and industrial construction sectors. Founded on the merit shop philosophy to provide equal opportunities to all contractors and all workers, ABC of Michigan works to help employer members develop people, win work, and deliver that work safely, ethically, and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.