More than 135 Detroit Public Schools students hired to work in DPS summer construction program to attend orientation and safety course

Students earn $250 per week with $900 incentive bonus in nine-week construction program

More than 135 Detroit Public Schools students have been hired to work this summer on nine construction sites through a nine-week trades program where they will combine classroom instruction with on-site job experience in the industry.

Student workers are paid $250 per week with a $900 incentive bonus once they complete the program as part of the district’s $500.5 million capital improvement project funded by Proposal S bond dollars.

 “The summer program was open district-wide to currently enrolled or recently graduated DPS students,” said Carol Weaver, Director of the Construction Bond Department. “Applicants also had to pass an interview evaluation and maintain a 2.5 grade point average or higher to be accepted in the program.”

More than 700 applicants applied for the 135 open positions. The first student worker program was held last year with 75 students.

Seventeen-year-old Crystal Carr is returning again this year to work in the program.

“I learned a lot about creating budgets, meeting timelines, and I learned how to wire a receptacle. I didn’t know there were so many aspects to construction,” she said.

Carr graduated this spring from Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School, one of the 18 projects in the bond program. The new $45.6 million MLK facility will open this fall. 

“I’m looking forward to working this summer on the new King.”  

The paid worker program will teach important job skills that will provide students with more opportunities for a career in skilled trades, design and construction management. Under the supervision of eight Detroit-headquartered contractors, student workers will be trained in carpentry, masonry, plumbing and electrical skilled trades. They will also learn how to identify equipment, use hand tools, take measurements, determine wire size, and read blueprints.  

The eight design build teams supervising student workers on site are Colasanti/DCI, White/Turner/O’Brien, W-3/AZ Shmina, KEO/McCarthy Smith, MIG/Auch, Jenkins/Granger, Tooles/Clark’s, and Brinker/Christman.

The nine week program will run June 27 through Aug. 26. Student workers will rotate between the job sites, the architects’ studio and management offices, and classroom instruction at the Philip Randolph Career and Technical Center during a 40-hour week Mondays through Fridays.

Student workers are paid $250 per week and will be given an additional $900 bonus after a final examination in August as an incentive to complete the program.

“The DPS Summer Student Worker Program is complying with child labor regulations established by the United States Department of Labor and youth employment standards set by the Michigan Legislature for workers under age 18,” Weaver said. 

Detroit voters approved Proposal S in November 2009 which enabled the district to access $500.5 million for school capital improvement projects. DPS received the sixth largest allocation in the nation.

The improvement program also includes technology upgrades and security initiatives being funded with Proposal S dollars. To comply with federal guidelines, all bond dollars must be spent within three years and all projects must be completed by September 2012.

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