Rachel Harbin on the assembly line

M.P.A. student honored as Michigan Apprentice of the Year

Current MPA student, Rachel Harbin, has been named Michigan Apprentice of the Year by the Michigan Apprentice Steering Committee, Inc. Ms. Harbin is a member of the UAW Local 106 and works for General Motors at the Warren Tech Center as a metal model maker journeyperson. She earned her journeyperson's card in December after completing 7,328 hours of on-the-job training and 700 classroom hours. 

In her position as a metal model maker, Ms. Harbin assembles and disassembles GM prototypes and, alongside design engineers, helps ensure that parts designed for a car fit and function properly.

Ms. Harbin decided to apply for the M.P.A. program because she was interested in obtaining a "solid grounding in both managerial approaches as well as how the government system functions in the U.S." The MPA has also provided her with the opportunity to be a more knowledgeable citizen. With her degree, Ms. Harbin sees herself one day working in the nonprofit sector helping students who are struggling in school to learn math, science and engineering through hands-on applications.

Working for Detroit's automotive industry runs in Ms. Harbin's family. Her grandfather was a tool-and-die maker and her father began his career as a mechanical engineer; both men retired as plant managers. Her mother, the daughter of a machinist, was an apprentice tool-and-die maker.

Ms. Harbin is in her final year of the M.P.A. program.

Photo courtesy of the UAW Solidarity House.

Article: GM metal model maker honored as Michigan Apprentice of the Year