Oakland County workforce guide features apprenticeships

More than a decade after Oakland County first introduced its guide to career apprenticeship opportunities that could change someone’s life, the 2017 version is now available and includes 19 new occupations.

“The Apprenticeship Guide has been one of our most popular publications,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “It gives counselors from high schools a handle on what skilled trades are available and what the requirements and rewards are for such a career. These 76 pages contain vital information for young men and women entering the workforce. I think you’ll be impressed with the rewarding careers that are available.”

The guide was Patterson’s brainchild. He wanted workers to know there were good jobs available even though people didn’t have a college degree. The free guide provides a comprehensive look at apprenticeship opportunities available in Oakland County and Southeast Michigan. It is produced by Oakland County Michigan Works!

“It has become increasingly apparent there is not an adequate pipeline of qualified candidates to meet the demand left by a retiring workforce in the skilled trades,” Patterson said. “There is also a perception by some that working in a skilled trade or in manufacturing is not ‘cool’ or somehow inferior. We’re working to change that mindset.”

The guide contains job descriptions, the number of job openings forecasts in a particular vocation, contact information and average salaries for 60 different apprenticeship opportunities in the area ranging from auto body repair and bricklayer to various health care and technology professions.

Included in this year’s edition are apprenticeships as a mechatronics technician, network support technician, various electrical trades and yes, one even one for a baker. The salaries range from the mid-to high $20,000s for some jobs to as high as $89,630 for a computer systems analyst.

Jennifer Llewellyn, manager of the Workforce Development division and Oakland County Michigan Works!, said the guide will be distributed to K-12 schools throughout the county, Oakland County Michigan Works! centers, community colleges and through the Oakland County Business Roundtable’s Oakland Next committee, which is focusing on career development for high school students.

“We believe we are creating a talent pipeline in Oakland County,” Llewellyn said. “By educating students and parents about the value and the opportunities available, we hope more students will consider apprenticeships.”

The guide can be found at the county’s website, www.advantageoakland.com and simply clicking on the icon labeled, “Apprenticeship Booklet.” Copies are also available by contacting Oakland County Workforce Development at 248-858-5520.

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