Ralph C. Wilson Foundation Awards WIN $1.5 Million to Fund Apprentice Training Through Apprenti, Nation’s First Registered Tech Apprenticeship Program

Nationally Recognized Program Attracts, Trains, and Places Diverse Talent into Tech Roles

Today, the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) announced $1.5 million in funding from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation to cover training costs for the first 100 apprentices accepted into the Apprenti program over the next three years. The funding will cover the intensive, front-end training associated with Apprenti, the nation’s first registered tech apprenticeship program that recruits, trains, and places women, veterans, and people of color into tech roles.

“Information technology skills building is increasingly important to employers across industries in Michigan,” said Michele Economou Ureste, executive director at WIN. “Apprenti provides a proven and reliable pathway for traditionally underrepresented populations to gain training, certifications, and job placement. This aligns with WIN’s ongoing efforts to help employers with workforce development solutions to close skills gaps widely recognized across the region.”

Apprenti, which was started in Seattle by the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) in 2016, launched in Detroit late last year as part of its national expansion. Nationally, the program has received nearly 6,000 applications and placed over 200 apprentices into tech positions. Apprenti’s national employer partners include Amazon, Microsoft, Avvo, Comtech, F5 Networks, Accenture, and Silicon Mechanics, where apprentices earn an average salary of $51,000. The jobs include web developer, software developer, network security administrator, systems administrator, cloud support specialist, data center technician and IT support professional.

“Our country’s tech industry has two big problems: we don’t have enough talent to fill jobs, and there’s very little diversity. Through Apprenti, our goal is to solve both challenges,” said Jennifer Carlson, executive director of Apprenti. “Today’s funding announcement ensures that our apprentices in southeast Michigan get the training they need without having to pay a dime.”

There were over 87,000 IT job postings in Michigan in 2017, and finding qualified talent remains the top challenge facing the growing technology sector in the state. To address this workforce issue in southeast Michigan, WIN has become an affiliate partner with Apprenti to bring the nationally recognized platform, supported by the U.S. Department of Labor, to the state. Apprenti fills a critical role by closing the tech talent gap and providing opportunities for underrepresented groups to secure careers in tech.

According to WIN’s interactive, web-based Return on Investment (ROI) calculator, for every dollar invested in an information technology apprentice, employers receive on average $9.44 in return on investment for an apprentice. This translates into more than $40,000 saved in year one of the apprenticeship. In addition, the occupations developed for apprenticeship through the Apprenti program are in demand across all industries. In 2017, there were over 13,000 job postings for software developers in advanced manufacturing, with similar numbers in both the healthcare and financial industries in southeast Michigan. WIN is currently in discussions with employers from all three of those industries to make apprenticeships a part of their long-term talent strategies.

The partnership with Apprenti is part of WIN’s apprenticeship expansion strategy through the Advance Michigan Center for Apprenticeship Innovation (AMCAI). AMCAI is a $4 million American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) grant through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration with the goal of expanding registered apprenticeship opportunities through statewide innovation. AMCAI covers 30 counties in southeast Michigan and is comprised of seven community colleges in the region — Henry Ford College, Jackson College, Lansing Community College, Mid-Michigan Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College, and St. Clair County Community College — along with many local and regional corporate and workforce and economic development partners, including the Michigan Works! Agencies.

WIN is also working with Ann Arbor SPARK and Michigan Works! Southeast to establish a pilot program in Washtenaw County. Employer partnerships are currently in development, and WIN hopes to start a cohort this summer.

For more information about Apprenti in Southeast Michigan – including how to apply – please visit ApprentiCareers.org or contact John Sullivan at john.sullivan@winintelligence.org or by calling (313) 580-6548.

The mission of the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) is to help cultivate a cohesive talent system by facilitating data-driven workforce solutions to ensure responsiveness to changing labor market demands. WIN is a partnership of 10 community colleges and 6 Michigan Works! Agencies in southeast Michigan. WIN’s mission is to cultivate a comprehensive and cohesive talent system to ensure employers find the workers they need for success. WIN specializes in fostering collaboration among talent partners, including workforce development, community colleges, four-year post-secondary institutions, K-12 schools, economic development organizations, government, community based organizations, employers, and others.

Apprenti is a registered apprenticeship program powered by the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA). Apprenti trains future tech workers with an emphasis on underrepresented groups including women, minorities and veterans. Apprenti is an industry recognized, state and federally accredited program. Apprentices receive two to five months of full-time, industry recognized training before beginning one-year of paid on-the-job training with one of the program’s hiring partners. The program is partially funded through a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) ApprenticeshipUSA contract and a grant from the American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI), with support from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), and JP Morgan Chase. For more information on how to apply, donate or become a hiring partner, please visit www.ApprentiCareers.org.

WIN Southeast Michigan Partners Awarded $6 million Training Grant for Robotics and Automation Workforce

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration today announced a $6 million, 5-year grant to train 900 southeast Michigan workers in robotics and automation careers through the Advance Michigan Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (AM-RAMTEC). The funding aligns with southeast Michigan’s White House designation as an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) area, which prioritizes a 16-county region encompassing greater Detroit for federal investment from 17 federal departments and agencies.

AM-RAMTEC’s goal is to utilize funding to help increase the number of unemployed and underemployed, non-traditional, incumbent, and other workers receiving CERT (Certified Education Robotic Training) in the region. The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN), which convened the initiative, will manage AM-RAMTEC as part of a suite of efforts to align talent with employer and economic development needs in the 16-county area. The Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) will serve as the grant fiduciary.

“As the economy recovers, talent is becoming increasingly hard to find,” noted Lisa Katz, executive director, WIN. “These funds will help us dig deeper to support workers who might otherwise be left out of the economic recovery and connect them to a field that is in high demand, offers strong wages and opportunities for advancement.”

According to WIN, over the past decade, the region has recovered 11,614 robotics and automation jobs, increasing employment by 44.7 percent to 37,622 workers. Projections indicate an additional 1,500 net new jobs by 2026 with approximately 1,535 individuals needed every year to fill posts opened by turnover and retirements. Wages in this sector have increased by 30 percent over the past 10 years from $42,669 in 2010, to $55,328 annually in 2016.

As a part of the effort to support workers for employment and economic development needs, AM-RAMTEC will provide funding to:

1. Support targeted outreach and case management of hard-to-serve populations pursuing careers in robotics and automation

2. Establish and expand the availability of training programs to improve access for program participants and ensure high quality materials, facilities, and curriculums for training providers

3. Increase the number of trained workers with access to high-wage earning opportunities through demonstrated employer commitments to new hire and incumbent workers

4. Outline clear and achievable career pathway strategies

5. Provide resources to help workforce development partners, training partners and employers braid, leverage and ultimately maximize all available funding in order to minimize costs to program participants and place workers in income-earning and income-generating positions as quickly as possible

For more information, please contact: Lisa Katz at lisa.katz@win-semich.org.

Key AM-RAMTEC partners include the following:
• Employers/associations: FANUC, Magna, RHP Enterprises, Wellington, Huron Automatic Screw Company, Employee Resource Network (Employer Association), Automation Alley (Employer Association)
• Michigan Works! Agencies: Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA), Genesee-Shiawassee-Thumb (GST), Southeast Michigan Consortium (SEMC), Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC), Oakland County Michigan Works!, State of Michigan Workforce Development Agency
• Education and Training Providers: Community Colleges: Baker College, Henry Ford College, Jackson College, Macomb Community College, Monroe County Community College, Mott Community College, Schoolcraft College, St. Clair County Community College, Washtenaw Community College, Wayne County Community College District
• Economic development agencies: Ann

Arbor SPARK, Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County, Monroe County Business Development Corporation, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership


The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) is a collaborative effort between six Michigan Works! Agencies (MWAs), ten community colleges, and numerous other organizations. The WIN partnership aims to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in Southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need for success.


Henry Ford College
Jackson College
Macomb Community College
Monroe County Community College
Mott Community College
Oakland Community College
Schoolcraft College
St. Clair County Community College
Washtenaw Community College
Wayne County Community College District

Michigan Works! Agencies
Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.
Genesee-Shiawassee-Thumb Michigan Works!
Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!
Oakland County Michigan Works!
Southeast Michigan Community Alliance
Southeast Michigan Works! Consortium

WIN Reports: 2015 Southeast Michigan Employment Reaches Pre-Recession Levels

Southeast Michigan employment increased throughout 2015 reaching 2009 pre-recession levels, with more than 2.3 million individuals working, following five years of continuous growth. The year closed with 32,514 more individuals in jobs than in 2014, for 1.4 percent annual growth. These findings, among others, can be found in data compiled by the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) in its fourth quarter labor market report.

Despite the gains, however, qualified, available talent has become a scarce commodity in the 9-county region, which includes Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Wayne, and Washtenaw counties. Following a national trend, large disparities between job demand and labor force participation exist. Lisa Katz, executive director for WIN, says, “Companies are seeking new talent but labor force participation is not keeping pace, residing, in fact, at its lowest levels since the 1970s.” Adds Katz: “This, which can be attributed to vast changes in demographics, including baby boomers retiring en masse, women as a lesser force in the labor market due to the increased cost of childcare, and millennials opting to enter the workforce later in lieu of higher-ed degrees.”

Online job postings in 2015 reached and retained record high levels with nearly a half million ads posted in southeast Michigan. Employer demand increased by nearly 33 percent in 2015 compared to 2014 as employers placed 122,000 more job ads in 2015 than in 2014.

“Continued high posting levels in the fourth quarter of 2015 position the region for sustained employment growth, yet, if our labor force remains flat or continues to decline, employers will have to find other means of attracting new workers,” notes Katz. “That could include adopting major policy changes, minimizing job and education requirements, and advancing training and internship opportunities for students.”

Nearly 60 percent of total posting growth in the region occurred in WIN-analyzed clusters in Q4 2015, and each cluster individually experienced annual posting gains of at least 42 percent in Q4 2015 compared to Q4 2014. Total postings in the WIN clusters included:
• Retail and Hospitality – 26,130 postings
• IT – 18,223 postings
• Health Care – 16,862 postings
• Engineers and Designers – 10,541 postings
• Skilled Trades and Technicians – 3,882 postings

Approximately 40 percent of posting activity occurred in clusters not analyzed by WIN. The most notable job postings outside of the WIN clusters occurred in the following areas during Q4 2015:
• Business Management (general managers, business operations, human resources)
• Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (truck drivers, material movers)
• Financial Management (auditors, finance specialists, bookkeepers)
The top in-demand jobs included:
• Software Developers, Applications – 5,684 postings
• Registered Nurses – 5,430 postings
• Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers – 4,088 postings
• Retail Salespersons – 3,601 postings
• Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing (except technical and
scientific products) – 3,401 postings

Throughout Q4 2015, the most notable trends included:
• Demand for software developers continued to grow dramatically, with 3,209 new postings since Q4 2014, marking a 129 percent increase
• Postings for registered nurses increased by 338, up 6.6 percent over Q3 2015
• Demand for retail sales persons declined by 597 postings, a 14.2 percent decline
from 4,198 postings in Q3 2015
• New to the top twenty occupations since 2014 included business intelligence
analysts, maintenance and repair workers, and sales managers
• No longer in the top twenty occupations compared to one year ago included
childcare workers, civil engineers, and computer user support specialists

The full report can be viewed at: http://www.win-semich.org/data-research/quarterly-