No. The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) DOL Sponsored training programs, like the Greater Michigan Construction Academy (GMCA), do not pay Apprentices stipends while they learn.

Apprenticeships are known for the ability to “Earn While You Learn”, what this refers to is a stipend payment made to Apprentices throughout the duration of their training. Unfortunately, the Michigan Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) sponsored programs do not offer stipend payments. This is in contrast to Union led programs which may pay from $50 per day to several hundred for a week-long course. 

Stipends allow Apprentices the ability to commit themselves to their training and trade at a level that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. The lack of stipends and high cost of tuition, nearly $13,000 per program (1), make ABC programs difficult for most to attend and are likely contributors to their low enrollment and graduation rates. ABC training programs have a graduation rate of just 14% in the last 17 years (2). That averages out to less than 14 graduates a year.

No cost programs, along with job placement and industry-leading wages, have led to Union training programs being Michigan Apprentice’s first choice for training (2). Since 2000, 79% of Michigan Apprentices chose to enroll in Union JATC programs, 16% in Unilateral Single-Employer training and just 4% were registered in ABC led training. When comparing ABC programs to JATC sponsored training it is not hard to tell why.