Curriculum to Meet the Demands of the Field
The carpentry program is being updated come fall 2018. “Many carpentry workers are not required to be in a formal apprenticeship program, which is why we can customize the program to meet the needs of contractors and our members,” said Mickey Mortimer, VP of Workforce Development for ABC of SE Michigan. What would this look like? Instead of attending school two days a week, from Sept–April for four years, students will attend school for one year and classes would focus on particular skills that employers need. This just-in-time approach to learning helps employers bid on jobs and keeps SEMCA progressive and changing with the times, too.
“Students can do a combination of self-paced, online learning and then come into the shop for presentations, lectures, discussion, testing and, of course, hands-on applications of skills,” said Mortimer. When they are done with the short-term training, they have skills that make them valuable to the employers’ jobs and can return for a more formal education if the need arises.
DOL contractors need not worry. “We will continue to offer our more traditional, DOL approved, four-year track in carpentry for those who need apprentices and who want a more formalized, long-term and intensive study of the trades,” said Mortimer. Either way, students will receive national credentials from NCCER for all modules they complete. It’s a win-win situation as SEMCA strives to provide more workers for the Michigan construction industry.