Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542 or Jennifer Mrozowski at 313-873-8401
DETROIT-Detroit Public Schools is sponsoring a Skilled Trades Resource Fair Wednesday, June 9 from 9 a.m. to noon at IBEW Local 58, 1358 Abbott Street. Detroit residents with experience in skilled trades or seeking a career in the industry are encouraged to attend.
Participants can learn how they can register for training and apprenticeship programs that will prepare them for jobs in the DPS School Construction Project, which will build and renovate the district’s schools. The project is part of DPS’ three-year capital improvement construction program being funded with $500.5 million federal stimulus dollars following voter approval in November of Proposal S.
“During the Proposal S campaign, we told voters that the DPS construction project would not only mean state-of-the-art learning facilities for our students but the project also would create thousands of jobs for area workers, which would aid the local economy,” said Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb. “This fair for skilled workers is tangible evidence that we are living up to our promises, and we hope workers will come out to see the many job opportunities and apprenticeship programs that we have available.”
More than 15 Local affiliates and trades associations are scheduled to be on site. Experienced carpenters, cement masons, drywall finishers, electricians, iron workers, millwrights, painters, pipefitters, plumbers, roofers and sheet metal workers are preferred, but those skills are not required. A high school diploma or a GED is required to be admitted into any building trades program.
The resource fair is hosted by Detroit Public Schools and Walbridge Joint Venture, the Program Manager overseeing the bond construction project for the district.
Parking is free at the IBEW Local 58 facility.
Last month Bobb announced the start of the first three construction and renovation projects as part of the district’s $500.5 million bond program. Contracts were awarded to three local construction firms that together total $64.1 million. The project labor agreement, which covers skilled trades employees, requires 65% of work hours on the project be performed by Detroit residents. Additionally, the prime contractors plan to fill 40%-60% of their non-trades work hours with Detroiters.
Bobb said the project creates jobs for Detroit residents and more work for Detroit-based companies. Up to 1,375 Detroiters will be employed for the first three projects, based on the State of Michigan employment formula. Those projects are set to get underway this month at Martin Luther King Jr. King Senior High School, John R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy, and Marcus Garvey Academy.
The first round of hires will be pooled from local trades associations like the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council (MBCTC). Financial Secretary and Treasurer Patrick Devlin said there are nearly 1,000 laid off Detroit workers on his roster.
“They have been on the bench for a while and have been hurting,” he said. “They are ready and eager to get back to work.”
Devlin said while out-of-work union members who are Detroit residents will fill the first open slots, more opportunities in skilled trades will become available during the three-year project.
“It’s important for individuals who have an interest in starting a career in skilled trades to get registered with a Local affiliate,” he said. “This is the first step to getting new workers assessed and trained so they can be prepared for the next series of construction projects in the city.”
In addition to the MBCTC, more than 15 other Local affiliates and trades associations are scheduled to be on site to register job seekers and provide more information on how to train for a career in skilled trades.
Detroit voters approved the Proposal S Bond Referendum last November which enabled the district to access $500.5 million in federal dollars for school capital improvement projects. DPS received the 6th largest allocation in the nation. Federal regulations stipulate the bond dollars must be spent within three years.