Executive Director of Career & Technical Education
"Talent Together" is a consortium of 39 Intermediate School Districts (ISDs), including Saginaw ISD, that have formed an innovative partnership to address the teacher shortage crisis in Michigan. Dubbed “Talent Together,” the partnership includes districts spanning 63 counties—from the Upper Peninsula to Southeast Michigan—that collectively serve over 1,019,000 students. To date, this is the largest education collaboration of its kind in state history.
The partnership will include pathways for aspiring teachers of all education levels, including those who do not yet have a bachelor’s degree. Focused on teacher quality, this innovative model will also make use of apprenticeships, a way to develop educators that is newly recognized by the United States Department of Labor. Program fellows who are seeking certification will be required to meet federal apprenticeship guidelines, which means at least one year of “practice” in classrooms and fully paid at a competitive wage.
Talent Together will identify pathways for each of these certifications. On Dec. 1, the consortium launched a request for proposal (RFP) asking Michigan colleges and universities to offer proposals that would meet the partnership’s needs.
The Talent Together consortium has been working together since early summer 2022 but began to pick up steam as the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced an upcoming Grow Your Own grant based on the legislature’s allocation of $175M for that purpose. The group has been working with education talent experts at the Michigan Educator Workforce Initiative, to design the innovative program.
The program plans to welcome its first cohort of teacher candidates in the fall of 2023.
Information comprised and provided by the Talent Together consortium.
Multiple entry points and pathways for degrees and certification that provides opportunities for aspiring and experienced teachers to earn additional credentials and financial incentives.
A fully-funded program that leverages federal, state, and local funding sources to remove financial barriers to the teaching profession.
A rigorous, competency-based framework for selection, training, and evaluation.
A "learn and earn" model that places participants in a continuum of instructional roles.
A cohort model where participants will build meaningful and supportive relationships.
39 ISDs/RESAs representing 63 counties and more than a million Michigan students participating in Talent Together.
Focused on providing a quality education and certification for our future educators.
Remove barriers to the teaching profession by creating flexible and accessible pathways for aspiring teachers.
Significantly reduce vacancies in the certification areas identified as highest-need, including special education and early childhood settings.
Improve alignment of teacher and student demographics in participating districts by targeting recruitment efforts towards under-represented candidates and by removing common barriers to program entry and completion.
Improve educational outcomes for students served by program participants through the development of essential teacher skills and mindsets and differential retention of highly-qualified and well-prepared teacher candidates.
Increase retention of novice and experienced teachers through the development of professional learning experiences and career advancement opportunities.
Improve the economic mobility of candidates in support staff roles by providing paid, job-embedded opportunities to advance their careers.
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has joined the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), school districts in Saginaw County, Saginaw Valley State University, and the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to establish a registered apprenticeship program to develop highly skilled educators in Michigan.
Registered apprenticeships for educators are a new route for those with a passion to serve children as teachers to master their craft while they work in the classroom and are mentored by veteran teachers.
MDE will begin to build the apprenticeship model with stakeholders in intermediate and local school districts and post-secondary educator preparation programs, along with USDOL and LEO. A variety of post-secondary institutions have expressed support to work with MDE, along with the Michigan Education Association (MEA) and AFT Michigan.
Registered apprenticeships are an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway in which employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, and can receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally recognized credential. Registered apprenticeships are industry-vetted and approved and validated by the U.S. Department of Labor and a state apprenticeship agency, which in Michigan is LEO.
Michigan’s registered apprenticeship program for educators will use a residency-based model targeting various pools of candidates:
Students interested in pursuing a State of Michigan teaching certificate
Current school district support staff
Current school district stakeholders, such as community volunteers
Registered apprentices “earn while they learn”; they take college coursework to become a teacher at the same time that they work in classrooms in a variety of roles, as they progress to the role and goal of classroom teacher.
College courses are paid for by the employing school that can take advantage of a variety of federal, state, and local funding streams to offset the employer’s costs. Wrap-around services are also provided to the apprentice as needed.
In some instances, an apprentice may come in with prior knowledge and experience, which is taken into consideration and applied to the process. Apprenticeships are often a game changer that levels the playing field for people who may have always wanted to become teachers but lacked the resources and supports. This increase in access to the profession, without lowering standards for entry, often results in more diverse workforces that better reflect the communities that teachers serve.
The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and U.S. Department of Education (USED) issued a joint announcement in August that encouraged states to establish a registered apprenticeship program for teaching and to increase collaboration across workforce and education systems.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA), and the National Governors Association (NGA) have each announced their support of the USDOL and USED announcement.
Michigan’s program is expected to have its first group of apprentices in the 2023-24 school year.
Information comprised and provided by the Michigan Department of Education.
An individual who is employed to learn an apprenticeable occupation and is registered with a sponsor in an approved apprenticeship program.
(1) Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, composed equally from management and labor; (2) where no employee association (union) exists, a committee established by the sponsor to administer the sponsor’s apprenticeship program.
A skilled trade(s) or craft(s), which has been recognized by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship, Training, Employer, and Labor Services (OATELS).
Department of Labor (DOL)
The United States Department of Labor serves as the oversight body to the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.
Any person, plant, firm, facility or organization employing an apprentice, whether or not a party to the apprenticeship agreement with the apprentice.
An individual who has sufficient skills and knowledge of a trade, craft or occupation, either through formal apprenticeship or through practical on-the-job experience, to be recognized by a state or federal registration agency and/or an industry as being fully qualified to perform the work of the trade, craft or occupation.
On-The-Job Training (OJT)
Tasks learned on-the-job in which the apprentice must be proficient before a completion certificate is granted. OJT makes up the majority of an apprenticeship program, approximately two thousand (2000) hours per year.
Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Data System
Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP)
A plan containing all terms and conditions for the qualification, recruitment, selection, employment and training of apprentices, including the requirements for a written apprenticeship agreement between the apprentice and the sponsor.
Classroom and other forms of instruction (theory) to reinforce the on-the-job training. The related instruction can be provided during working hours or during non-working hours. Related instruction equals one hundred eighty (180) per year.
RTI Apprenticeship Agreement
A written agreement between sponsor and apprentice that establishes the terms of the apprenticeship and that has been registered with the registration agency.
Any employer, plant, firm, facility association, committee or organization operating an apprenticeship program and in whose name the program is or is to be registered.
The document that is developed for operating an apprenticeship program and that is registered with the appropriate registration agency.
Executive Director of Career & Technical Education
Executive Director of Instructional Services