November 10- Forty-four students from Vanderbilt and Wolverine students attend an apprenticeship workshop at Wolverine High School. The workshop was presented by the
Local 7 Sheet Metal Workers.
Activities included hands-on virtual welding, during which students were able to see and feel the different types of metal that they work with, from thick beams that had layers of metal
to thin ductwork that would be in businesses & homes. Students were also shown pictures of local Michigan work that the sheet metal workers had done. Examples included photos of the local EJ building in Elmira , a ship, and a tower that they had built on the ship. Local 7 gave examples of technology they use and showed them that the welding helmet has built-in technology to help with their work. Pictures of copper were also shown, explaining how they can age metals with chemical reactions. They talked about the heights they may be working at with booms that go 125+ feet in the air. They also answered lots of questions that the students had from what an object is, to the most difficult install they have ever done, to what they enjoy about their job and how they got started into the field.
Local 7 Sheet Metal Workers explained what starting wage is for a 1st year Apprentice verses what your ending wage would be after year 4 of your apprenticeship. They explained that you would be learning, but earning at the same time, and that you would be applying what you’re learning in the class work into the field as you learn it. They also mentioned that the company would cover the costs of all classes and you’d walk away not owing anything and having a great paying career—one of the best parts of apprenticeship!
After the presentation, Michigan Works! provided donuts, cider and juice for the students, as well as Michigan Works! information and handouts. Then Michigan Works! staff conducted a true or false Apprenticeship trivia after and “Spin the Wheel of Fun” to have a chance to win a prize. Student surveys revealed the students really enjoyed the presentation, with many saying “it was really interesting” and “I may have found a career that interests me”. They were also quite surprised how much a sheet metal worker does and earns!
John, with Local 7 Sheet Metal Workers, said he really enjoyed being able to present to these students, stating the students had great questions and interaction.