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Celebrating

National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship week 2022 is November 14-20 and Michigan Works! joined forces with local employers to celebrate apprentices that have made a lasting impact in their industry.


This nationwide celebration provides Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren the opportunity to highlight how Registered Apprenticeship Programs can help address some of our nation’s most pressing workforce challenges. To celebrate this nationwide event, Michigan Works! went in search of five current or alumni apprentices that have been dedicated to their area of focus.

 

2022 Awardees:

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Award Winner
Logan Cook • Electrician

Logan is a first-year Electrical apprentice at Grotnes in Niles. Logan was first introduced to the apprenticeship program by a CTE teacher in High School. Logan became an apprentice right out of High School. He was recognized for his hard work and dedication to his trade and becoming a big part of his company’s success to meet quality and deliver on time. Logan’s advice to anyone considering entering into an apprenticeship is to learn as much as you can, take good care of yourself, and know that it is okay to make mistakes.

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Award Winner
Ashley Tanksley • Machine Builder

Ashley is a third-year Machine Builder apprentice at Edgewater Automation in St Joseph.  She was first introduced to the industry working as a helper and performing small jobs to assist other employees.  She was offered a position as an apprentice where she slowly gained more experience that made her an asset to the company. Ashley was recognized for her willingness to learn and grow in a male-dominated industry. Ashley’s advice to those interested in an apprenticeship is to take your time and learn as much as you can from your leads.

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Award Winner
Lacquesia Lipscomb • Surgical Technician

Lacquesia is a first year Surgical Technician apprentice at Corewell Health South.  Lacquesia has more than two decades of experience in health care and chose the apprenticeship program to advance her career. Lacquesia was recognized for her dedication and hard work as well as the care she puts into her school and work. She is honored to be a part an inaugural cohort of surg tech’s and advises anyone who is interested in an apprenticeship to put your mind and heart into what you are doing and follow your dreams.

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Award Winner
Eric Janssen • CDL-A Driver

Eric is an alumni apprentice at Ralph Moyle Incorporated (RMI) in Mattawan. He completed his CDL-A apprenticeship program in 2 years after leaving a sales job to work for RMI. He entered into their registered apprenticeship program with zero driving experience but became a successful solo driver and trainer.  Eric’s advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship is not to be afraid to try, make the most of it and be all in.  He also recommends enjoying the journey as you learn and that an apprenticeship is a viable opportunity for anyone and everyone.

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Award Winner
Jarod Lakin • Mold Maker

Jarod is a first-year Mold Maker apprentice at Dura Mold in Stevensville. Jarod sought out Dura Mold specifically for their apprenticeship program as he wanted to become a mold maker and knew this would be the perfect route. He loves his job as it is different throughout the day every day. Jarod was recognized because of his strong work ethic, his constant desire to improve, and his willingness to share his knowledge and experience with others. Jarod’s advice to anyone considering apprenticeships is to be prepared to commit and if you are going to do it, then go all in.

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Eagle Technologies is being honored during National Apprenticeship week because of their work and dedication to the apprenticeship model. Eagle values the apprenticeship concept, as more than 40% of their team has had apprenticeship training. Last year, they enrolled 22 apprentices raising the number to 35. Over the last few months, they have enrolled 11 additional apprentices.

 

“Enrolling, training, and graduating apprentices is what we do at Eagle!” stated their CEO, Brandon Fuller, who is an alumni apprentice and now a partner, owner, and CEO at Eagle Technologies. As a former apprentice, Brandon’s advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship is, “Get to know the people you are working with and your mentors. As an apprentice, it is crucial to understand what you are learning. Even as an apprentice, you can be a leader, so raise the bar, and other apprentices will follow. By taking the lead role as an apprentice, you will become a mentor to them.”

 

They value apprenticeships, underrepresented populations, and are growing leaps and bounds. Eagle has increased sales from roughly $30M to over $125M in a span of six years. They have taken the initiative to increase diversity among their team, understanding that varying perspectives creates a more creative team, allows for better problem solving and different approaches to each task from a variety of different perspectives. With an emphasis on diversity, they have been working with several advisors to network and create interest with women in manufacturing. Less than 25% of their applications at Eagle are women. That is 1 out of 400 applications, and hundreds of applicants apply at Eagle each year. They are updating their benefits and adjusting their culture to welcome more women to their company.

 

Overall, Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren would like to recognize Eagle Technologies for their robust apprenticeship program and for establishing new and creative ways to run their business.