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State Apprenticeship Expansion Success

A Success Story

Jacob is a young adult from the central Upper Peninsula who sought to explore a career in manufacturing and needed assistance finding a work experience to increase his skills and marketability. As a newly-registered Apprenticeship Intermediary, U.P. Michigan Works! (UPMW) connected Jacob with the State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant (SAE), in addition to other funding sources and programs, to get Jacob ready to win! 

While in his junior year at Gwinn High School, Jacob enrolled in the Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College’s (MATMC) CNC Machinist/Mechanical Engineering program and began taking college courses at Northern Michigan University (NMU). At the end of his junior year, Jacob was accepted into Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency’s (MARESA) High School Internship Program at Able Medical Devices (Able) to take the manufacturing career pathway for a “test drive.” Likewise, Able used the opportunity to see if Jake had the reliability and work ethic they looked for in employees before committing to something long-term. 

After a successful internship, Jake was offered a spot in a Youth Registered Apprenticeship by Able through UPMW, the administrator of the State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant. Jacob gained experience, learned more about his chosen field, and received additional support from UPMW. 

Additionally, Jacob leveraged other avenues to increase his marketability. The tuition-free MATMC program helped Jacob earn an associate degree in CNC Technology from NMU and immediately begin working as a CNC Machinist at Able fabricating spinal cord implants and implant equipment. Jacob continues his postsecondary education and is now pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree from NMU.  

With the help of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s (LEO) SAE Grant, the tuition-reimbursement program offered by Able, and the wraparound support provided by UPMW, Jacob will earn his bachelor’s degree from NMU and transition from producing medical implants for the human body to designing said implants. The best part of Jacob’s success story? He is on a path to a high-paid career in technology at little cost to him or his family. Jacob is grateful for Michigan’s Early/Middle College System and LEO’s State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant. Jacob is earning a valuable education for an in-demand career, Able is getting a well-trained employee, and the Upper Peninsula is keeping its young talent. It’s a win-win-win! 

Learn more about Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! services by visiting our Job Seekers page.