Training programs funded by the Going PRO Talent Fund must lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and recognized by the industry. This creates a highly-skilled workforce that benefits employers, strengthens communities and gives employees a skill for life. Here is just one example…
GE Aviation-Muskegon manufactures both commercial and military engine components and currently employs about 900 people. Skilled tradespeople, such as tool makers, are very difficult to find. That is why the manufacturer, with the help of West Michigan Works! and the Going Pro Talent Fund, created internal apprenticeship programs to develop their own talent. Internal training programs like this give employees a chance to grow and earn a lifelong skill.
Aldo Gonzalez-Ramirez came to the United States from Mexico in 2009. He spent the next few years working hard and learning a new language. He started at GE Aviation in August 2015 as a machine operator and quickly became the person others would go to for answers to questions and for help.
“When someone with this type of drive and ambition meets a career opportunity like this, it’s a win-win situation.” – Ryan Berends, training/team coordinator for GE Aviation-Muskegon
Skills for Life
Aldo applied for and was awarded an apprenticeship with the tool making team in January 2019. He works full time to complete the 8000 hours of on-the-job training. At the same time, he is taking multiple classes per semester at Muskegon Community College. When he finishes, Aldo will be a registered U.S.Department of Labor journeyman tool maker with a pay rate over $30 an hour. As a registered journeyman, Aldo’s skills and credential are recognized by and transferable to employers across the country.
“[These skills] are definitely something I can have for the rest of my life and will be valuable wherever I go.” – Aldo Gonzalez-Ramirez, apprentice