Michigan School-to-Registered Apprenticeship (STRA) Program
Listed below is information related to FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about Apprenticeship Programs
We are pleased that you are considering participation in the Michigan School-to-Registered Apprenticeship (STRA) Program.
Employers are experiencing great difficulty finding and training new employees. This document will provide you with important introductory information that will assist you in determining whether or not the STRA Program can be utilized at your business as a means of training students as a part of their high school education and subsequent CAREER PATH in a related STRA Program.
STRA Program participants enjoy many great benefits and advantages. However, participation does require that candiates meet certain basic requirements, as well as commit to adhering to program activities, processes, and procedures.
WHAT IS STRA?
STRA stands for School-to-Registered Apprenticeship. The STRA Program is a system of training modeled after the federal apprenticeship program. In Bekums instance, its program is also greatly influenced by the German apprenticeship model. Both programs utilize the traditional apprenticeship system of occupational education and training.
THE APPRENTICESHIP SYSTEM OF TRAINING
All apprenticeship programs including the STRA Program utilize a combination of two methods of occupational learning, classroom instruction and on-the-job training.
Apprenticeship programs are the only formal, nationally recognized occupational education and training programs that combine both classroom instruction and worksite training. Classroom instruction begins in high school and continues after graduation with occupational classes (with tuition subsidized by the employer) at local community colleges. Upon high school graduation, successful candidates begin worksite training as full-time employees and begin classroom instruction requirements at a local community college.
NOTE: The STRA program was initially started by the State of Michigan in the 1990s, and is the model followed by many companies within the State of Michigan. Due to the economic turndown, the State of Michigan no longer supports the STRA program. Notwithstanding the States withdrawal of support, Bekums award winning apprenticeship program is modeled after the German Apprenticeship program, as well as following the STRA concepts listed in this document.
Apprenticeship programs have been used as a means of occupational training for many, many years. The term apprenticeship is more readily recognized by those in specific industries such as construction and manufacturing, where this form of training is more common. Today, partly due to the skilled labor shortage, apprenticeship programs are becoming more common and widespread. There are programs existing for over 800 different occupations nationwide.
Traditional apprenticeship programs require that applicants be a minimum of 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma. STRA Students are certified by the Bureau of Apprenticeship Training just as other apprentices are. STRA Programs are formal apprenticeship programs that allow students to begin occupational education and training while still in high school.
NOTE: Bekum has specific additional requirements which must be met and strictly adhered to. Please see Bekums website for additional information and criteria.
OTHER IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT STRA PROGRAMS
- Are employer-driven! These programs cannot exist without the need, participation, and support of business and industry.
- Are long-term in nature. Training time can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years, depending on the occupation and the employer. Bekums program is structured such that it is estimated that completion normally takes 4 to 5 years.
- Are formal and structured. All STRA Programs require that students successfully complete the programs predetermined number of hours in both classroom instruction and on-the-job training to obtain the journeyman certificate.
- Are developed by employers. Employers determine their programs training length and its education and training activities. Employers training plans, referred to as Occupational Standards, include tasks students must learn to be skilled in the occupation, the time allotted to learn these tasks, and the occupation-related classes the students must successfully complete.
- Are registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship & Training. Once a companys training program has been developed, it must be approved by the U.S. Department of Labors Bureau of Apprenticeship & Training. Upon approval, the company will receive a Certificate of Registration & a registration number. Once registered, a company may interview students for participation in its training program every year.
- Are paid training programs. Students typically become an employee upon acceptance into the program, but must continue to meet program requirements to remain in the program. Beginning wage and wage structure are determined by the employer.
- Students who successfully complete the program are awarded nationally recognized credentials. Students who complete all the programs on-the-job training and related instruction hours are awarded a Certificate of Completion and journeyman status from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship, in their skilled trade.
Student recruitment generally takes place in January and February. During this time, STRA Coordinators go into the high schools and speak with juniors and seniors about the STRA Program and its many benefits, such as:
- Long-term, paid, quality education and on the job training under the watchful eye of skilled journeymen
- High-skill, competitive-wage employment opportunities
- Initial and structured wage increases
- High school and subsidized posthigh school classroom instruction
- Nationally recognized credentials
- Continued education and employment opportunities
NORMAL TIMEFRAMES AND STUDENT SELECTION ACTIVITIES
Selection activities are conducted from February to May and include the following:
- Completing a program application.
- Attending a student/parent orientation.
- Undergoing assessment.
- Participating in business tours.
- Participating in a pre-interview workshop
See Bekum website for timeframe for APPLICATION.
- Upon graduation, successful candidates become full-time employees for the sponsoring company as well as continue classroom instruction at the local community college or other approved facility.
- Apprentices continue training until all required hours are completed, at which time they receive their Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship.
- Complete all required program paperwork.
- Because we care
- Because our program is highly acclaimed throughout the State of Michigan
- Because, through your dedication and our guidance, we have an outstanding opportunity to develop and advance young adults career.
- Because you can get paid while learning.
- Because you can get tuition free education (for qualifying program courses)
- Because, once you complete the program, and get journeyman certification, you will have no debt related to your community college apprenticeship completed courses.
Is Bekums Program worth considering? If your answer is yes, whats next?
If you would like to participate in Bekum America Corporations Apprenticeship Program, your next step would be to ask your local High School Counselor to contact Bekum America Corporation at (517) 655-7126 or you could email firstname.lastname@example.org for details and/or referral.