Apprentices sought for Upper Peninsula projects

MARQUETTE, MI – Upper Peninsula residents looking for good-paying careers with benefits, health care and pension have more time to sign up for an opportunity to become an apprentice working on some of the biggest construction projects in the region. Operating Engineers 324 has opened its apprentice application period through Friday, June 10 so anyone interested in a good-paying career in construction will have more time to apply. Registration is at:

“Demand for skilled construction professionals, especially for projects slated in the Upper Peninsula, is not slowing down and continues to present an opportunity for people to build great careers,” OE324 Training Director John Osika said. “Operating Engineers 324 already has the largest number of apprentices in our history, and we know the work is not slowing down at all. This is a great career opportunity for graduating high school students as well as those looking for a change in their field. Our apprentices receive priceless training without any student loans or debt, while earning money and building a skill base that will last them through a rewarding career. Now really is the best time to get into the professional skilled trades and start a career in construction.”

Wage packages for apprentices also include extensive benefits, from healthcare to pensions and retirement. At the end of an apprenticeship, OE324 members work in jobs that lead to rewarding careers, paying good wages and excellent benefits.Major projects slated in the Upper Peninsula include:

• The Soo Locks
• Work on the Jacobietti Center
• A new addition to the L.P. Plant in Sagola
• US41 in Menominee Co.
• Highway bridge and deck replacement throughout the UP
• A proposed Great Lakes tunnel.

OE324’s apprenticeship program is rigorous, highly developed to meet federal standards and is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. Apprentices also earn while they learn, accumulating skills and experience and not college debt.

Applicants to OE324’s apprenticeship program can choose between becoming a heavy equipment operator or a heavy equipment technician and mechanic. Operators apprentice for three years and 6,000 hours, and technicians and mechanics apprentice for 4 years and 8,000 hours. Apprenticeships include classroom education and instruction as well as supervised on-site work experience.

To qualify for an apprenticeship, applicants must be at least 17 years old, and be a high school graduate or possess a GED Certificate at the time of application. Applicants 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.
Applicants can view these and other requirements, including Workkeys test scores, at Applications are limited and available on a first come, first serve basis.