National Apprenticeship Week Focuses on Apprenticeships: The Other 4-Year Degree

apprenticeship_fact3October 17, 2016, Detroit, MI–There are more than 1,200 skilled trades jobs listed on dozens of job sites in Michigan, and the race is on to fill each one of them. At a time when the “go to college” mantra is coming face-to-face with staggering college debt, there has never been a better time to consider what blue-collar life offers. For many, it means a good paying career that can never be outsourced, and a professional option that taps into a person’s desire to build things with their own hands.

National Apprenticeship Week, Nov 14-20, is one way to raise awareness of the many opportunities in the skilled trades, particularly in the construction and transportation industries. All week employers, employment agencies and unions will host events that focus on skilled trades as a career option. Events will be posted at

“An aging workforce, retirements, and countless new construction and road projects have created an employment vacuum that needs to be filled by skilled tradespeople,” said Robert Davis, Senior Advisor Metro Region, MDOT. “There are hundreds of jobs open for electricians, cement masons, road builders, plumbers, roofers, and welders, and we need to fill the pipeline.”

Most jobs require training, and it is the on-the-job training that makes the skilled trades such an attractive career option.

“We call apprenticeships the other four-year degree,” said Davis. While college represents a range of prospects, it is not for everyone. Like college, skilled trades positions can require up to four years of training. Unlike college, however, apprentices earn while they learn and graduate/advance to journeyman status with no student debt and a career that can never be outsourced. There are many apprentices currently building roads throughout the State, working construction at the new hockey stadium, and assisting on demolition projects.

This year, The Partnership for Diversity and Opportunity in Transportation—which is comprised of employers, industry associations, labor and other partners—will serve as a clearinghouse for all apprenticeship events in the Metro Detroit region during National Apprenticeship Week. Local events will be listed at Organizations that are holding events that express support for and demonstrate the benefits of apprenticeships programs should send them to

The MiRoad2Work Facebook and Twitter pages will promote apprenticeship events with the hashtag: #other4yeardegree and #bluecollarlife. A speakers’ bureau will promote the skilled trades at local schools.

For more information, contact Renee Prewitt @ or 248-515-1941.

About the Partnership for Diversity and Opportunity in Transportation
The Partnership consists of unions, businesses, government, and non-profit representatives, working collaboratively to enhance economic development within neighborhoods through access to job training. We support the programs of our members through our website:, which is the “one-stop shop” for information about apprenticeships, apprenticeship readiness services, and business opportunities.

Last year’s Inaugural National Apprenticeship Week was highly successful, spurring over 300 events in 47 States across the Country. President Obama kicked off the week with a Presidential Proclamation which started a movement that generated 57 additional State and Local proclamations. Check out the NAW 2015 Report for more detailed highlights from last year’s inaugural National Apprenticeship Week.