According to U.S. Department of Labor Data, since 2000, only 236 Registered Apprentices have completed training (1) in Michigan based Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) sponsored programs. ABC programs exhibit the highest rate of cancellation and the lowest rate of completion which have resulted in a graduation rate of 14% (1). 


The Associated Builders and Contractors sponsored training programs have one of the lowest graduation rates of all Michigan Trade Schools (1). According to U.S. Department of Labor Data, since 2000, only 14 out of every 100 Apprentices registered with ABC programs have completed their training (1). Their graduation rate of 14% is significantly lower than almost any other educational institution; Michigan’s High Schools graduate students at a far higher rate (79%) (2) and even America’s Medical schools (80%) (3) do better.

In addition to ABC training programs poor graduation rates, the raw number of graduates that have completed ABC training each year is very low. In total, Michigan based ABC DOL training programs have graduated 236 apprentices since 2000 (1). That averages out to less than 15 graduates a year. By comparison during that same period of time, Union led JATC programs have graduated  9,901 registered Apprentices and Single Employer driven programs have completed an additional 1,044 (1).

Why do so few Apprentices, who pay exorbitant tuition and fees to attend (5), actually complete their DOL approved training programs? And why has ABC contributed so little to the skilled trades workforce during their 17 years of training?

That is hard to answer, but we do know ABC has a history of hiring leadership staff who have no construction background or experience (4). Three out of four ABC Chapter Directors are former lobbyist or politicians (4) and they do not pay their students a stipend while they train (6). It sounds like a classic case of: You get what you pay for.