Seven state representatives and legislative staff toured the Michigan Laborers Training and Apprenticeship Institute in Perry on Tuesday May 23rd, learning about the diverse skilled trades programs available./Courtesy photo
State Rep. Ben Frederick joined the Michigan Laborers Training and Apprenticeship Institute (MLTAI) in hosting a tour of the Perry facility Tuesday to see firsthand how the privately-funded organization prepares skilled trades professionals.
“What is done at the Apprenticeship Institute plays a significant role in maintaining and rebuilding our state’s infrastructure,” said Frederick, of Owosso. “This facility has 39 construction trade courses alone, emphasizing abilities needed to build our roads, schools and bridges. It was a great opportunity to bring my colleagues to Shiawassee County to learn more about the incredible importance skilled trades have in our state.”
The MLTAI is a partnership between the Laborers International Union of North America and affiliated contractors. Funding for the facility comes from per-hour wages set aside into a training fund, helping improve access to up-to-date training for current and future professionals.
The programs available are diverse, including asbestos removal and pipeline maintenance, along with high-demand courses on setting concrete, welding and first aid/safety.
Joining Rep. Frederick, who is the chair of the Workforce and Talent Development Committee, were fellow reps. Jason Wentworth, Eric Leutheuser, Brandt Iden, Bronna Kahle, Leslie Love and Erika Geiss. The legislative visit included a 30-minute tour and a question-and-answer session with MLTAI leadership.
“Michigan is experiencing a shortage of construction workers and it’s important that policymakers know firsthand what it means to work in the skilled trades,” said Lynn Coleman, director at MLTAI. “Rep. Frederick has shown his commitment to increasing the number of individuals in the skilled trades and we’re pleased to partner with him to make that happen.”