Workforce Development Institute


The Michigan AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in 1977. Our mission is to combat economic and environmental injustice by connecting the unemployed or underemployed with the training and resources necessary to find gainful employment and transition Michigan to a cleaner, greener economy. WDI has successfully operated publicly funded employment and training programs in Michigan for over 40 years.

WDI’s primary source of support is the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) which makes funds available – though the State of Michigan and Local Michigan Works! Agencies – to provide job training, job placement and related services to displaced workers and economically disadvantaged youth and adults and welfare recipients. Michigan WDI contracts with these entities to provide direct services to eligible Michigan residents. Michigan WDI also receives funding from grants from the State of Michigan to provide Health and Safety programs, as well as coordination for IMT Apprenticeships, classroom training for Pre-Apprenticeship training. WDI also holds the standards and training for the Workforce Development Specialist Apprenticeship.



Access for All

The Access for All Apprenticeship Readiness Training Program was designed to create opportunities for underserved communities to access in demand and lucrative careers in the building trades. Graduates will be ready to compete for entry into the Registered Apprenticeship programs in the skilled trades. Residents who are economically disadvantaged, minority, female, veteran, or youth 18-24 are targeted for recruitment and offered individualized case management services throughout the program. A minimum of 272 hours of instruction are delivered by highly skilled content professionals.

WDI’s curriculum was developed in alignment with the construction industry to meet the entrance requirements for US Department of Labor registered building trades apprenticeships. It includes critical soft skills training, an experiential project, several certifications, and it meets or exceeds the standards of the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3) established by the North America’s Building Trades Unions.

Directly, and through its relationship with the Michigan State Building Trades Council, WDI works closely with all the building trades unions to ensure it is meeting the needs in each community. Currently, Access for All operates in Detroit, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and is coming to Jackson, and Saginaw soon. We are always looking for new communities and welcome inquiries.

To apply, please visit

For more information please contact,

Cheryl Sanford (Detroit and Saginaw)

Sam Dougherty (Kalamazoo & Battle Creek)

Kaelynn Lewis (Jackson)


Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship

The IMT hybrid registered apprenticeship provides production workers with the knowledge and competencies needed in the advanced manufacturing environment. The 18-month or 3,000-hour apprenticeship trains workers to: Set up, operate, monitor, and control production equipment. Help improve manufacturing processes and schedules to meet customer requirements. Understand manufacturing as a business system that integrates multiple disciplines, processes, and stakeholders. Efficiently and safely manage time and materials.

For more information, contact or visit


Workforce Development Specialist Apprenticeship

The WFD Specialist is a time-based registered apprenticeship that provides staff working in the public workforce system and other training agencies with the knowledge and the competencies needed to provide direction to those seeking services.

The 12-month or 2,000-hour apprenticeship trains staff to:

  • Aid within a Helping Relationship that enhances the Career Development Services for all clients
  • Develops Project Management Coordination and Skills
  • Understand the Ethics and Scope of Practice for staff in the delivery of services
  • Develop effective communication strategies tailored to the specific audience and the use of required Information Technology


Download the 2020 Workforce Development Institute Profile Book here.