Erin stands in front of plants during the fall outside wearing a black hoodie with IBEW 906 written on it.

National Apprenticeship Week 2019

Erin – Business Development at IBEW 906

MARQUETTE, MI – Joining an apprenticeship program will take you anywhere you want to go. Just ask Erin, a recently graduated Electrical Apprentice in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Erin, now a Business Development employee with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 906, started her tenure with the training institution as an Apprentice not really knowing much about what an apprenticeship entailed.

“I really wasn’t familiar with apprenticeships,” said Erin, “But as soon as I got in, I was blown away with opportunities that are available. You are going to work and going to school full-time.”

Cost was a factor when Erin was deciding if she would join the apprenticeship program with the IBEW. With the rising cost of formal education, the price tag of college degree didn’t appeal to her.

“I was able to avoid all that debt and start making money right from the beginning…I feel like it propelled my life forward. I was able to make a lot of big steps early on that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do otherwise.”

Erin enjoyed the unlimited potential of a career in the skilled trades. That’s one of the things she most enjoyed about her apprenticeship.

“You can go anywhere. There’s no ceiling within the trade. You can climb the ladder and become a foreman, general foreman, superintendent. You could try to get into the estimating side of things, you could get a certificate and try to specialize in a whole array of things,” said Erin. “It’s really endless. The opportunities are endless, the learning is endless.”

When Erin was asked what she would tell someone who is interested in a skilled trades apprenticeship, the answer was overwhelmingly positive.

“It changes everything for you. You end up with this really tight-knit group of people that always have your back – on the job or off,” said Erin. “You have skills that you can use for the rest of your life.”

If you’re interested in joining an apprenticeship like Erin, visit your local Michigan Works! American Job Center in the Upper Peninsula or contact Holly Peoples at hpeoples@isupward.org. She, along with other helpful Michigan Works! staff members, will gladly assist you.

Please visit www.UPMichiganWorks.org to find more information about hours of operation and locations of Michigan Works! American Job Centers in the Upper Peninsula.

National Apprenticeship Week is a celebration of apprentices and the organizations that support them. Find out more about an apprenticeship during this year’s celebration, November 11th through the 17th.