Whitmer, Duggan unveil campaign to boost interest in skilled trades

July 8, 2019

The Detroit News

Christine Ferretti

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined Monday with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to announce a new campaign aimed at helping Michigan employers fill an estimated 545,000 skilled-labor jobs opening up through 2026.

The public-private partnership, Going PRO in Michigan, is spearheaded by the Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan, an office focused on professional skilled trade occupations and industries, officials said.

The effort, unveiled at a news conference at the Wayne County Community College’s northwest campus, will seek to dispel stigma surrounding the trades and highlight career options including welders, millwrights and electrical line workers, anesthesia and surgical technologists, web developers and industrial mechanics.

The Detroit chamber is among eight regional chambers of commerce — along with Lansing, Traverse City, Flint, Saginaw County, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Southwest Michigan and Grand Rapids — that support Going PRO.

The campaign is also supported by organized labor groups, including the Operating Engineers Local 324, IBEW Local 58 and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, among others.

“While fields like healthcare and information technology weren’t historically considered a part of the professional trades, that’s no longer the case,” SEIU Heathcare Michigan President Andrea Acevedo said. “These are well-respected careers.”

Research from the state’s talent department, officials said, showed interest in professional trades varies by region, with 8% of individuals in southeast Michigan expressing interest in pursuing a training certificate.

Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah said without sufficient workers with the skills employers need, businesses and regions like Detroit can’t stay competitive.

“Going PRO is a key element that we need to fix that gap,” he said.

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Lake Trust Foundation Offers Nine Scholarships for Skilled Trades and Aspiring Entrepreneurs Wanting to Make a Community Impact

The Lake Trust Foundation announced today that scholarship applications will begin being accepted on Monday, January 7, 2019, for Michigan residents who wish to pursue skilled trade technical education programs or realize their dream of being an entrepreneur who makes a community impact. Prospective students may submit applications on the Foundation’s website at https://www.laketrust.org/Foundation/Scholarships for either one of four New Beginnings Scholarships worth up to $2,500 or one of five full-tuition Community Impact Scholarships.

The New Beginnings Scholarship addresses the need for skilled trade workers, and recipients will use funds for tuition costs and related items like professional fees or dues in attending a career technical education program or trade school in the next 12 months.

The Lake Trust Foundation’s Community Impact Scholarships support community-oriented entrepreneurial talent through Lake Trust Credit Union’s relationship with Cleary University. Five full-tuition Cleary scholarships are available for undergraduate or postgraduate tuition at Cleary, either online or at its locations in Howell, Detroit or Ann Arbor.

“As the Lake Trust Foundation enters our eighth year of offering scholarships, we have been impressed by the goals and drive of our recipients,” said David Snodgrass, President and CEO of Lake Trust Credit Union. “Lake Trust acts where we see a need in our communities, not only through the Foundation but as the state’s largest Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) for 2018 we seek to serve disadvantaged businesses and low-income communities in Michigan.”

Through partnerships, outreach programs, grants, financial assistance and support for underserved people, the Foundation helps to build and sustain stronger communities.

Since 2012, it has awarded scholarships, contributed tens of thousands of meals to local food banks and provided funds in community grants and donations.

“We’re proud to offer these opportunities, especially working with a valued partner like Cleary,” added Mr. Snodgrass. “We see education as a seed that will provide long-lasting benefits beyond an individual to our neighbors and communities.”

The Lake Trust Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to make a difference in all the Michigan counties Lake Trust Credit Union serves across the state. Contributors to the Foundation are people who help fund support for local causes focusing on education, basic needs, health and wellness, the environment and more. Through partnerships, outreach programs, grants, financial assistance and support for a community’s underserved people, the Foundation helps to build and sustain stronger communities. For more information, visit https://www.laketrust.org/foundation/. For information on Lake Trust’s Moved By Good initiative, see https://laketrust.org/moved-by-good/. Follow @movedbygood on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Lake Trust Credit Union has more than $1.8 billion in assets and ranks fourth-largest in Michigan in number of member accounts. With federally NCUA-insured branches located in counties across the state of Michigan, Lake Trust is committed to creating stronger Michigan communities. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in the state of Michigan. For more information, visit laketrust.org and follow @LakeTrustCreditUnion on Facebook and @laketrust on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.