2020 was a year filled with fear, uncertainty, and change. It was a time for the first time in many of our lives we felt like time stood still. Many things were then moved from in-person to over Zoom or cancelled indefinitely and we wondered what life would look like after this or is there even an after this?
As many schools, SEMCA looked forward into the new school year and how they manage a trade school in the middle of a pandemic. New technology, new instructors, and new protocols were all prepared for the return of the students, a return unlike any other, but a return none the less. With all ups and downs of what a pandemic influenced school year would bring, SEMCA is proud to say that the 2020–2021 school year has ended successfully and we could not be more proud of our graduates who handled all of the change this year with confidence.
On May 18, not only did the class of 2021 walk across the stage, but also the class of 2020, to receive their Certificate of Completion from our Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program. During the past four years, this group of dedicated electrical, HVAC, and carpentry students not only went to school in the evening but worked in their selected trade during the day.
It was a celebration for the books. The graduation was held at Jimmy John’s Field, and over 300 family members and friends got to watch their loved ones cross the stage and become SEMCA graduates. It truly felt as if for a few hours, time stood still again, but this way, it was welcomed. The sun shined, and the smiles lit up the stadium as the graduates were celebrated for all their hard work and perseverance through the unthinkable the pandemic had thrown at them.
We look forward to the future here at SEMCA. We endured the unknown and made sure our students received the same skilled trade training that we have been providing for years, so if life throws another wrench in our plans, you can count on us.
Over the next few years, we expect our graduating class to grow in size with craftsmen and women receiving credentials for the electrical, carpentry, HVAC, and welding trades. The next time you hear about the growing skills gap in the construction industry, consider the graduates and students of SEMCA. Share our mission with your community, what was once a little-known training program has developed into one of the largest apprenticeship programs in the state of Michigan. SEMCA will continue to be a force in the workforce development space to ensure that our future of the construction industry is skilled, motivated, and safety conscious.