National Apprenticeship Week goes virtual


A sheet metal workers union is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week across the state with Zoom meetings that will include facility tours and career information.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 7, based in Grand Rapids, said it will host online events celebrating National Apprenticeship Week from Monday-Thursday.

During the events throughout the week, experts will be available to discuss the pathway to apprenticeship and a career in sheet metal, as well as conduct virtual tours of state-of-the-art facilities in three grouped areas of Michigan: Marquette, Saginaw and Flint; Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Traverse City; and Lansing, Marshall and Kalamazoo.

National Apprenticeship Week was created in 2015 to call attention to apprenticeships and invite business and industry, education, career-seekers, community-based organizations, students and workers to learn about the real-world advantages of this form of education.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Courtesy state of Michigan

More than 14,000 sheet metal apprentices are registered at more than 140 union sheet metal training facilities across the U.S. and Canada. Those who participate in sheet metal apprenticeships often graduate debt-free with a career in place and enjoy a living wage generally well above that of their college or university counterparts, according to Sheet Metal Workers Local 7.

For this year’s celebration, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is providing a pre-recorded address during each virtual session, and attendees will learn about sheet metal apprenticeship from Darek Scarlavai and Kevin Dowdy, training directors for Sheet Metal Workers Local 7, as well as instructors and journey people who live, work and teach the trade every day.

Event times

Marquette, Saginaw and Flint: Monday — 10 a.m. (Zoom link here), 1 p.m. (Zoom link here)

Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Traverse City: Wednesday 10 — 10 a.m. (Zoom link here) and 1 p.m. (Zoom link here)

Lansing, Marshall and Kalamazoo: Thursday — 10 a.m. (Zoom link here) and 1 p.m. (Zoom link here)


Darek Scarlavai, training coordinator, (231) 366-7269, (231)288-6325,

Kevin Dowdy, training coordinator, (269) 282-7183,

John Coleman, Local 7 organizer, (517) 599-6347,

Additional information about union sheet metal apprenticeships can be found at or by calling (703) 739-7200.

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