KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Major developments were announced Friday by representatives of the Kalamazoo Promise: Aspiring skilled-trade students will soon have new opportunities for apprenticeships.
The Kalamazoo Promise revealed it is partnering with the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights to include apprenticeships. The council is Michigan’s largest skilled-trades union. Kalamazoo Promise officials said this is major news for Kalamazoo and the state of Michigan, because the very high demand for qualified skilled-trade professionals continues to grow.
"The Kalamazoo Promise is meant to encourage students to follow their path to prosperity and opportunity, whether that path includes a bachelors degree, an associate's degree, a post-secondary certificate, or a DOL-accredited apprenticeship program," Von Washington Jr. said in a written announcement on the program expansion. Washington is the executive director of community relations for the Kalamazoo Promise.
The Kalamazoo Promise was designed to encourage post-secondary education. It benefits all eligible graduates from Kalamazoo Public Schools who want to go to college. The Kalamazoo Promise is funded through a group of anonymous donors who pledge to pay up to 100 percent of tuition at any Michigan school. However, not all eligible students want to go to college.
Under the expanded program, the partnership will provide Promise students with scholarship funding for for the council's apprenticeship program. The scholarships will be available to all students accepted into the union’s training.
"Our four-year apprenticeship program includes classroom learning with instructors who are the best in the industry and on-the-job training with contractors who are building some of the biggest structures in the state," said Mike Jackson, executive secretary-treasurer for the council.
The Kalamazoo Promise is inviting people to learn more about the educational opportunities and scholarships it offers. Those interested in learning more about the council's apprenticeship program are encouraged to text FUTURE to 91990.
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