The National Apprenticeship Act, signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 16, 1937, charged the Secretary of Labor with bringing industry and labor together for the establishment of apprentice programs and to safeguard the welfare of apprentices in training. The Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) was created to work jointly with labor and industry for the purpose of promoting and expanding the apprenticeship concept to produce competent, motivated and versatile craftspersons to meet the nation's skilled workforce needs.
The Michigan Apprenticeship Steering Committee, Inc. (MASCI) was initially formed in April, 1977, to act as sponsor for an anniversary banquet celebrating forty years of federal promotion of the system of apprenticeship in the United States. A ceremonial dinner was held on August 16, 1977, in Southfield, Michigan, and drew 400 persons from around the State of Michigan. Out of this gathering came a very constructive partnership; labor, management, education, government and the public... "The Apprenticeship Community."
The Committee members determined that they should continue to serve in an advisory capacity to the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training in Michigan. They would also provide a forum whereby the entire apprenticeship community could express, discuss and promote ideas for the improvement and maintenance of the apprenticeship system in Michigan.
From those beginnings, MASCI has continued to provide dynamic leadership in assuring that our system of apprenticeship in Michigan will continue to rank among the best in the nation.
During the twenty-six years of its existence, MASCI has sponsored nineteen statewide apprenticeship conferences in various cities around the state.
The Committee's present membership represents a broad cross-section of Michigan's businesses and industries. It includes top officers from several major labor unions along with leaders in career and technical education from community colleges in Michigan and the State Department of Education. The Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (US Department of Labor) and various Michigan public agencies provide governmental input and support to the committee's mission. Finally, the public members-at-large are people with a long involvement in skilled trades training programs and bring many years of experience and invaluable expertise to the group.
The Committee has many members who hold positions in other state-wide organizations and advisory committees. They are involved in providing guidance and direction to the Governor, the Legislature, the State Board of Education and other entities responsible for the education and training of Michigan's workforce. Due to the members' positions of leadership in the organizations they represent, MASCI provides not only a forum for progressive thought but also the opportunity to implement needed innovation to keep pace with constantly changing technology.