In a news release Friday April, 26th, the Kalamazoo Promise announced they have signed an agreement with the state’s largest skilled trades union - the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCC) – to expand the Promise to include skilled trades apprenticeships with the MRCC’s Joint Apprenticeship Program.

Von Washington, Jr., Executive Director of Community Relations for the Kalamazoo Promise had this to say,

The Kalamazoo Promise is meant to encourage students to follow their path to prosperity and opportunity, whether that path includes a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, a post-secondary certificate, or a DOL-accredited apprenticeship program. The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights provides lifelong career training and tremendous opportunities for people who want to use their minds and work with their hands. We are excited to build upon the successes of the Kalamazoo Promise with our partners in the skilled trades.

Under the agreement between the MRCC and the Kalamazoo Promise, the Kalamazoo Promise will provide scholarship funding to the Apprenticeship Program for each Kalamazoo Promise student accepted for training. The amount of each scholarship shall be equal to the annual cost of each student in the Apprenticeship Program.

Mike Jackson, Executive Secretary-Treasurer for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights said,

Our four-year apprenticeship program includes classroom learning with instructors who are the best in the industry and on-the-job training with contractors who are building some of the biggest structures in the state. This is a great time to join the skilled trades and we are proud to join the Kalamazoo Promise to bring even more opportunity to students and families in Kalamazoo.

Tod Sandy, facility director for the MRCC’s training center in Wayland added,

Our new school in Wayland is open for business and we are looking for new apprentices to grow our programs. This partnership with the Kalamazoo Promise couldn’t come at a better time.

The Kalamazoo Promise covers tuition and mandatory fees for post-secondary education of eligible high school graduates from Kalamazoo Public Schools. Applications for the Kalamazoo Promise are available on their website, www.kalamazoopromise.com. For more information about the MRCC’s apprenticeship program, text FUTURE to 91990.