$1,400 per semester or up to $11,600 per program (1). GMCA is one of the most expensive trade schools in the State and charges more per semester than many of Michigan’s Community Colleges (2).
The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) led program, the Greater Michigan Construction Academy (GMCA), is not cheap and very little to no financial assistance is offered. GMCA Tuition, fees, books, and materials cost $1,400 per semester and up to $12,600 per program, making it one of the most expensive trade schools in the state (1). No Educational State Aid is available like Community College Programs and the organization offers no financing or payment options of any kind (3). All tuition expenses must be paid prior to the first day of class and GMCA accepts cash or check (1).
This story is a sharp contrast to what the majority of Michigan construction Apprentices experience that are registered in Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) programs. JATCs are programs ran cooperatively by trade Unions and groups of construction employers. These Union led programs charge no tuition or fees for training and pay Apprentices stipends while they learn (4). Stipends payments range from $50 to several hundred dollars per class.
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 (5). 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.