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.

JVS Seeks Employers for May 9 Job Fair in Southfield

Are you hiring? Participate in JVS’s 5th annual job fair on May 9 in Southfield to connect with hundreds of potential employees.

Employers: fill your job openings by meeting and prescreening job candidates at the 5th annual JVS Job Connection from 9 a.m.- noon, May 9, at the Southfield Pavilion in Southfield. A few recruitment booths for companies are still available.

Open to the general public and veterans at no charge, the job fair is expected to attract hundreds of job seekers.
Job Connection will feature more than 40 companies including Henry Ford Health System, Oakland County, Tapper’s, Elba Laboratories, City of Southfield, Robert Half and more. Companies interested in participating may contact Angela Bevak at abevak@jvsdet.org or (248) 233-4482. See flyer for more information. (bit.ly/FindGreatEmployees2018)

JVS, a career resource for job seekers and employers, sponsors the event in partnership with Oakland County Michigan Works!, the City of Southfield and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

About JVS
Celebrating 75 years of helping metropolitan Detroiters realize their life’s potential, JVS is an award-winning human services organization with four main locations in the metro area. Through a variety of programs designed to help people maximize their self-sufficiency, the agency helps job seekers jump-start their job searches, provides jobs and meaningful programs for people with disabilities and helps seniors remain active and engaged.

Attracting and Engaging Millennials Is Much More Than Beer Carts and Slurpee Machines

By Tiffany Jones 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2030 millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce. The business challenges and opportunities that this statistic creates was a key topic of discussion at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s “Attracting and Engaging Millennials” event. Nearly 100 attendees heard from executive leaders on how to engage and maintain the most qualified millennial employees. The event was held on Wednesday, April 12 at the Greektown Casino-Hotel and emceed by Alexandra Bahou of WXYZ- TV7.

Maximizing Talent in a Multi-Generational Workforce

This discussion was led by Dominic Andwan and Craig VanRaemdonck, both from PwC, and centered around the results of a global survey that was conducted in collaboration with University of Southern California and London Business School to find out what motivated employees. Among the research, the responses from Generation X and millennials were very different. While Generation X was more concerned with control over work, development opportunities and pay satisfaction, millennials ranked team cohesion, supervisor support and appreciation, and flexibility as higher motivators.


Creating an Employee-Focused Environment

How you make a cultural change and not a cultural clash was the focus of this discussion led by Matt Bertman of Amerisure Insurance, Deidre Bounds of Ignite Social Media, Melissa Price of dPOP!, and Matthew Rossetti of ROSSETTI. The panel, moderated by Ashley Woods of the Detroit Free Press, discussed how to create environments that are engaging, comfortable and stimulating. Key takeaways included:

  • Be open and honest with communication. Millennials want to feel valued and know that their ideas are being heard.
  • Encourage the entrepreneurial spirit (create a purpose).
  • Have flexibility of where and when work needs to get done (flexible work hours).
  • Create great workspaces – indoors and outdoors.
  • Encourage the philosophy that working hard and playing hard can co-exist.
  • Be dedicated to strike the right work and home balance and have top management buy-ins
  • No matter the industry, employees must be committed to creating and respecting a culture for everyone.

Engagement Strategies to Improve ROI, Productivity and Employee Satisfaction

Sean Jackson of Sift, Mark Lanfear of Kelly Services, Angie Rohrer of Stryker and Tim Smith of Skidmore Studio led the panel discussion moderated by Lizz Glenn of Dale Carnegie Training that discussed how leadership can leverage technology and data to develop strategies that can impact retention, productivity and employee satisfaction. Key takeaways included:

  • Don’t concentrate just on millennials. Everyone can benefit from better engagement strategies.
  • Develop metrics. Measure what you manage. Having a baseline will help inform you on where you need to go.
  • Don’t group everyone together. Some millennials have Generation X personalities and vice versa. Stop labeling and stereotyping. One size doesn’t fit all.
  • It’s an oxymoron, but don’t try to retain employees. Equip them with all the tools and take all the energy they give, if only for a set amount of time. If you respect them enough to train them for their next job, chances are they may stick around longer.

Tiffany Jones is the director of communications at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

Read more from Tiffany Jones: 

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Awards $3.5 Million Grant to Detroit Promise to Help Students Pursue Higher Education

Millennial Truth: A Closer Look at How Gen-Y Work in Today’s Workforce

By Daniel A. Washington

Kelly Services’ Mark Lanfear, vice president and global practice leader of life sciences solutions, has spent years helping health care companies get the most out of their millennial talent and the rapidly changing workforce.

millennialQuick to point out the surge of millennials entering the workforce, Lanfear describes the often-misunderstood employee group as “driven and more talented” than some employers would like to admit. The thought leader in talent management credits millennials for being efficient and often times the most valuable employees.

“I think the biggest myth when it comes to millennials is that they have an attention problem or a devotion or a loyalty problem,” Lanfear said during an interview with the Detroit Regional Chamber. “It’s just that problems get solved more quickly and because of the way in which millennials focus on their work they don’t spend nearly as much time on finding solutions as previous generations.”

RELATED: Attracting And Engaging Millennials Is Much More Than Beer Carts And Slurpee Machines

Recalling a recent conversation with his older brother, Lanfear said millennials attract attention from industry leaders and companies across the region for good reasons. He said he believes that the rapidly increasing entrant to the workforce is changing the way companies think about employment and what they must offer.

“Right now, quicker than any other time, millennials are forced to take the wheel,” he said. “We talk about millennials being 30 percent of the population but they are already 40 percent of management.”

The staggering statistic he said is due to what he refers to as the “silver tsunami,” a common metaphor to describe the aging workforce population.


Mark Lanfear, vice president and global practice leader of life sciences solutions at Kelly Services

“We have what I like to call the ‘silver tsunami’ happening faster than anyone could have predicted. This is the population (Generation X) that is leaving the workforce,” he said. “Not just because of age, because that’s happening with the baby boomers, but also because a lot of people enjoyed a lot of success in the 1980s, and so there are pockets of folks around the globe that are financially secure and are stepping away from the workforce.”

With retention and attraction on the minds of business leaders, Lanfear encourages a different perspective on the matter: maximize a millennial’s potential by providing challenges and assignments related to their passions and let go of the idea of retaining them.

“Retention is a word that I have been asking clients to move away from,” said Lanfear. “Retaining a millennial workforce is going to be a challenge because it’s against their nature to stay especially when there is not a challenge or passion for them to commit to.”

Despite the misconceptions and labels associated with millennials, Lanfear said he is confident that as more research is done, those in the age group will become more understood. The numbers suggest that management styles and work cultures in the future will be defined by millennials who will be forced to leave a lasting mark in their roles in leadership positions.

“The wheel is just simply being handed to millennials fast,” he said. “So, I think we will see a lot changes as to how they are perceived in the coming years.”

Daniel A. Washington is a marketing and communications coordinator at the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Read more from Daniel A. Washington:

Trillium Academy Seniors Hear Career Lessons from Chamber Millennials

Lear Innovation Center, Detroit’s Latest Automotive Design Incubator, Opens Downtown

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

American Society of Employers (ASE) announces job fair for veterans and individuals with disabilities on Aug. 18 in Southfield

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, will host a Veteran’s Job Fair on Thursday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Southfield Pavilion. Joining ASE as co-hosts are the Southfield Veterans Commission, the U.S. Veterans Administration and the Michigan Industry Liaison Group (MILG). The job fair is open to all, but is targeted to military veterans and their families, as well as individuals with disabilities, and is free to both employers and job seekers.

The Job Fair announcement was made by ASE CEO, Mary E. Corrado.

“ASE and our host partners and sponsors recognize the challenges that veterans, their families and individuals with disabilities can face in securing stable employment. We are proud to organize and facilitate this job fair for all to attend,” Corrado said.

Kelly Services will be providing free resume review at the event.

The Southfield Pavilion is located at 2800 Evergreen, Southfield, Mich. 48076. Registration for individuals and employers can be found on the MILG website.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.

Enhancing the Talent Pipeline: Near-term and Long-term solutions to fill your talent needs

MICHauto hosted “Enhancing the Talent Pipeline:  Near-term and Long-Term solutions to fill your talent needs” on Monday, July 9, 2012 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago – Detroit Branch.

Since its launch in January, MICHauto has been hard at work building a coalition of industry executives, developing Michigan-centric promotional materials, engaging in business attraction activities, and connecting stakeholders to address the industry’s engineering talent shortage.  The Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto program hosted an event focused on increasing the number of engineers in the talent pipeline and introducing new programs that assist private industry in solving their immediate engineering needs.  Attendees were educated on four topics: private industry involvement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education reform; corporate immigration assistance and foreign-born recruitment; the utilization of academia’s research and development capabilities; and a unique engineering internship program.

Find presentations from the event below (Click the presentation name to view in PDF Format):

Athena Trentin, Program Director, Global Talent Retention Initiative of Southeast Michigan

Dennis Atkinson, Director of Corporate Engagement/Michigan Corporate Relations Network, Wayne State University

Rebecca Wenglinski, Program Manager, Talent Enhancement, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Dr. Joachim Wolschendorf, CTO and Vice President of the Vehicle and Drivetrain Engineering Division, FEV, Inc.

For more information on MICHauto, contact Rob Luce at 313.596.0383.    This event was presented in strategic partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) with presenting sponsorship from Warner, Norcross, and Judd, LLP.