State Funding of Private Training Program for Skilled Trade OK’d

Midland, Michigan, August 2, 2017 – A recent decision by Michigan Department of Education that supports the collaboration of school districts with private training academies will help improve Michigan’s workforce education gap, says Greater Michigan Construction Academy (GMCA).  

“We appreciate the MDE’s review of the academy’s funding in order to ensure that state money is appropriately used,” Jimmy Greene, GMCA CEO/President said.  “We encourage other school districts interested in our training programs to explore partnering with us now that the funding issue has been resolved and it has been reaffirmed that the programs meet the state’s criteria.”

In order to help fill thousands of current and future construction jobs, GMCA is serving more than 15 school districts to offer a nationally certified curriculum approved by the Department of Labor. GMCA partnered with corporations and school districts to craft a pre-apprenticeship program for high school juniors and seniors interested in skilled trades jobs.

GMCA, along with employers such as Dow Chemical and other regional builders and contractors, partnered with the Midland ESA and its five high schools to create the program to help funnel students into available jobs.

“Right now across the state, construction employers are searching for more than 5,000 qualified people to fill positions,” Greene explains.  “We can’t train people quickly enough to fill the jobs that employers have open.”

“We applaud the efforts of Brian Whiston, MDE superintendent, for quickly addressing the confusion that was created when the funding of academy programs was questioned,” says Greene.  “The dual enrollment issue was clarified along with the fact that no pupil stipends are paid to GMCA.  We look forward to working with other school districts that want to offer access and opportunities for their students who want to take advantage of high paying job opportunities.”

A federally accredited institute, GMCA has been a state proprietary school since 1980.  Students get training in electrical, heating/ventilation/air conditioning, welding, carpentry and plumbing.  Most students train in their home districts and within their own schools. Often, current teachers at the schools attain certifications to teach the curriculum. 

GMCA is an academy of the Greater Michigan Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, a membership association of about 1,000 builders and contractors across the state, dedicated to the merit shop philosophy and the betterment of the communities in which they work.

For more information, contact GMCA at (989) 832-8879. Email President/CEO, Jimmy Greene at jgreene@abcgm.org.

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The Greater Michigan Construction Academy’s mission is to educate thru collaboration of the construction industry, their employees, and our communities.  GMCA strives to develop professional workplace competencies and skills while promoting the industry as a career choice.