Union Carpenters and Millwrights Skilled Training Center holds grand opening

North Central UP

NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Statewide Carpenters & Millwrights Joint Apprenticeship & Training Center is now accepting apprentices to become skilled trades construction workers.

The 32,000 square-foot training center features classrooms and meeting spaces. Specialized training areas include high-tech survey and optical measurement equipment training and high precision equipment alignment millwright training.

“Professional trades will account for nearly 530,000 jobs in the Michigan economy through 2028,” said Susan Corbin, director of Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “With approximately 47,000 job openings expected annually in the state during that time. Many of these jobs are in high-wage, high-demand career paths. And many of these careers are within reach to Michiganders who complete an apprenticeship or earn a skills certificate or a two-year degree.”

One of those millwright apprentices is Kalysta Sormunen and she shares what this new center means to her.

“I’m here because I love my school, I love what I do. I like to crank on stuff,” said Sormunen. “I think it’s really rewarding to work on something and be able to come back and tell people ‘I did that, I made that.’ The best part about joining the trades is that you don’t have to pay for it. College, you pay for, you acquire lots of debt. They pay you to learn. They pay you to work for them and it’s really about owning your own career. You make what you want out of it.”

Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights’ (MRCC) apprentices are paid during their apprenticeship, which involves taking classroom lessons that include elements of math, science, technology, and engineering, as well as working on construction projects in the field. Apprenticeships typically last four years.

Apprentices also get health care and other benefits, including retirement, and can earn $19.00-23.50 an hour to start ($40.44-45.57 total wage & benefit package). After they complete their apprenticeships, MRCC’s carpenters and millwrights Journeypersons can earn $27.13-33.63 an hour plus benefits ($48.58-55.66 total wage & benefit package).

Apprentices must be at least 17 years old and be a high school graduate or possess or begin working toward a GED Certificate at the time of application. Applicants for apprenticeships must be U.S. citizens or legal residents in Michigan. Applicants must have a valid Michigan driver’s license and reliable transportation as apprentices often travel to job assignments throughout Michigan. To apply for an apprenticeship, text “FUTURE” to 855-424-2562 or apply online at https://www.buildmifuture.com.

“I tell people all the time that a career in construction is ideal for anyone who wants to learn a skill for life. If that’s you, the Negaunee Training Center should be the first stop for any woman or man looking for a challenging career that requires them to use their head and their hands,” said Donna Pardonnet, chair of MRCC’s Statewide Carpenters and Millwrights Joint Apprenticeship & Training Fund. “We’re really excited to help people across the Upper Peninsula get the education, skills, and training that can make them the best in the construction business, and we’re excited to get to work.”

Major multi-million-dollar construction projects slated for the Upper Peninsula in the near future include work on the Soo Locks, Island Resort and Casino, Schoolcraft Hospital, Newberry Hospital, and Bay College athletic department, and YMCA reconstruction.

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