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Construction Jobs Academy of Michigan -Pre-Apprenticeship Opportunities for JMG Youth

Youth Solutions is excited to announce a new program launching this month in southeast Michigan, the Construction Jobs Academy of Michigan (CJAM). CJAM is a 16-week pre-apprenticeship program designed to prepare Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) youth for an apprenticeship and long-term career in construction. CJAM was developed inside of a robust network of partners, including the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA), Associated Builders and Contractors of Southeast Michigan, the Southeast Michigan Construction Academy, the Michigan Concrete Association, Emerging Industries of Southeast Michigan, and the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA)*. After this year’s pilot with SEMCA, CJAM will spread to other JMG locations around the state. In addition, we intend to bring this same pre-apprenticeship model to other major industries in Michigan to ensure all young people are educated, employed and career bound.

“MITA is proud to be one of the partners, along with Youth Solutions, of CJAM. As the Director of Workforce Development for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, I have first-hand experience regarding the difficulty that member companies have in bringing on new, young talent into the infrastructure and road construction industry. CJAM will offer the opportunity for Michiganders to be trained, at a basic level, in construction, and offer graduates the opportunity to work with some of the most dynamic construction companies in the state.” stated Ken Bertolini.

This month all JMG youth in SEMCA programs, regardless of age or grade level, will explore careers in the construction industry by participating in a virtual event designed and held by CJAM partners to introduce youth to the industry and to opportunities in commercial, residential and infrastructure construction. While this event targets SEMCA youth, all JMG youth statewide will be invited to attend. In December, approximately 50 JMG youth from SEMCA will participate in a hands-on workshop to directly engage with the industry and various careers within it. This event targets high school seniors and youth in our out-of-school program model. CJAM culminates with a 14-week pre-apprenticeship program starting in January.

Taught by Emerging Industries Training Institute, CJAM will allow youth to experience the industry, gain credentials, and directly engage with employers. Upon completion of the CJAM pre-apprenticeship, youth will be highly employable and be eligible to go directly into employment and/or an apprenticeship program with one of the hundreds of Michigan employers backing this program.

CJAM is free for participants and covers transportation costs, tools and equipment. If you would like to discuss bringing CJAM to your community, contact Elizabeth Bernhard at

*A 501 (c)(3) Michigan Non-profit Corporation supported by the State of Michigan, Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO),and other federal, state and county funding. SEMCA Michigan Works! is a federal contractor, equal opportunity employer/programs that include minorities/women/disabled/veterans. Reasonable accommodations will be made upon request. A proud partner of the American Job Center network.


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