Pre-apprenticeship program offers middle college students new opportunities

MARQUETTE — The Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College, along with the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency, Upper Peninsula Construction Council and Ironworkers Local 8, have partnered to create a pre-apprenticeship program from middle college students.

The program allows for students to earn up to 44 credits during their middle college experience and earn credit towards their apprenticeship program.

Collin Fure is the first middle college student to be offered this opportunity. He will be entering a pre-apprenticeship pilot program with the Ironworkers Local 8 this month.

Fure will also be pursuing a degree in industrial maintenance and welding at Northern Michigan University. If all goes well, he will enter a full apprenticeship upon graduation from the middle college in spring 2019.

“I was just kind of looking for a job, and it fell right in front of me,” said Fure. “I’m excited to start working and pretty happy that this opportunity came to me.”

“It really does take a village to provide these types of opportunities to our students, and this was a case of everyone coming together – employers, education and industry – to make sure that this opportunity was available,” said Brian Sarvello, MATMC director.

Sarvello said that MATMC will work with more local trade unions to establish pre-apprenticeship programs for other interested students.