Case Studies

Macomb Community College

Organization:Macomb Community College

Benefit:Effective Partnerships

Macomb Community College (Macomb), the largest community college in Michigan, is a multi-campus institution just north of Detroit that serves about 19,000 students every semester in approximately 200 degree and certificate programs, and another 12,000 in workforce development continuing education programs.  Macomb has a 65-year history of work-based, on-the-job learning, with apprenticeship included in its original charter.  The college’s American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) grant supports Michigan Apprenticeship Program Plus (MAP+), a new program targeting apprenticeship pathways in manufacturing occupations, including a newly registered apprenticeship occupation in digital sculpting, which is a growing profession in the auto industry. 

In partnership with Grand Rapids Community College (Grand Rapids), located on the west side of the state, the program seeks to enroll and serve a total of 510 apprentices in the two largest metropolitan areas in Michigan.  North of Detroit, Macomb focuses on the auto industry, while Grand Rapids has expanded apprenticeship into the health care sector. Macomb and Grand Rapids have leveraged the AAI grant to increase outreach to employers, successfully engaging 57 new employers by promoting Registered Apprenticeship as an adaptable model that will solve many of their workforce needs. As of June 30, 2019, they had served 700 registered apprentices, exceeding their goal of 510.

Note: In 2015, building on historic bipartisan support from Congress for “earn and learn” training opportunities, the U.S. Department of Labor launched the American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI), which awarded $175 million to 46 public-private partnerships across the country.  These grants are financed by a user fee paid by employers to hire foreign workers into the United States under the H-1B non-immigrant visa program. This initiative is intended to provide a catalyst in supporting a uniquely American Apprenticeship system that meets our country’s particular economic, industry, and workforce needs. American Apprenticeships (also referred to as Registered Apprenticeships) are innovative work-based learning and post-secondary earn-and- learn models that meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor (or federally recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies).


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