Commissioners Hear Proposal For Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program

The AFL-CIO has proposed a partnership with the city of Benton Harbor to help residents get better access to skilled trades apprenticeship programs. The AFL-CIO’s Colleen Sullivan told city commissioners Tuesday about the Access for All program.

“We do focus primarily on youth, women, people of color, and folks who have faced other barriers getting into these career paths,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan says the program helps those who might have some difficulty joining an apprenticeship achieve the goal.

“What makes this program unique is we focus on barrier removal. So, things like helping people get a driver’s license reinstated, helping people with childcare, helping them with their tools and uniforms or transportation. Things that other people take for granted that can make the difference between someone being successful or being able to complete this program or not, we are focused on those.”

Sullivan proposed working on a partnership with the city and having an advisory committee locally. Mayor Marcus Muhammad said a committee will hear a more in depth presentation from the AFL-CIO and discuss the matter further.