Editors Note: This is the final piece in a three-part series about apprenticeships in West Michigan.
Part 1: construction
Part 2: health care
Michigan manufacturers are a cornerstone of the state’s economy. The National Association of Manufacturers finds that Michigan manufacturers employ about 14% of the state’s workforce. In 2018, manufacturers exported about $55 billion in goods and contributed 19% of the state’s output.
Since manufacturing is vital to the state, there is a constant need for a skilled workforce to meet the industry’s demands.
Manufacturing Apprenticeships Meet Talent Needs
Royal Technologies, a Hudsonville-based manufacturer, relies on apprentices to build their maintenance team. “Our maintenance staff complete a mechatronics apprenticeship,” said Megyn Ford, a recruiter with Royal Technologies.
Royal Technologies’ mechatronics apprenticeship is a four-year internal program that gives apprentices hands-on experience with the company’s machinery and the competencies needed for today and tomorrow’s manufacturing industry.
“It’s important to our company that we develop and promote current employees within Royal. We give apprentices the tools and resources to grow in their role and continue to meet our talent needs down the road.” – Megyn Ford, recruiter with Royal Technologies
Apprentices are required to complete twelve courses at Grand Rapids Community College and three to five original equipment manufacturer (OEM) seminars. They will also receive a tiered wage while they log 8,000 on-the-job training hours to complete the program. After completion, apprentices can earn a nationally recognized certification that sets them up for long-term success.
Ford suggests anyone interested in an apprenticeship should look for companies that share their values and cultures.
“It is important to join a company that provides growth opportunities and career pathways to develop and promote internally,” said Ford.
External candidates interested in Royal Technologies’ apprenticeship program can apply at the manufacturer to gain injection molding experience. The manufacturer seeks technical candidates who capture the company’s values and have experience working on injection molding machines in a utility role.