Student worker program employed 241 Detroit Public Schools students and recent graduates for three summers to work on construction job sites

A total of 241 Detroit Public Schools students have been hired to work on construction job sites for the past three summers where they 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 nine-week trades program in August as part of the district’s $500.5 million capital improvement project funded by Proposal S bond dollars. Thirty-two students were hired this summer for the third and final year of the program.

They will rotate between the job sites, the architects’ studio and management offices, and classrooms at the Philip Randolph Career and Technical Center during a 40-hour week Monday through Friday. The nine-week program runs through Aug. 24.

“The student worker program has employed 241 DPS students and recent graduates for three summers,” said Carol Weaver, DPS Bond Construction Program Director. “It’s been a successful program each year because the students take pride in the work they do to build better learning environments for their fellow students, friends and younger siblings.”


The paid worker program teaches important job skills that will provide students with more opportunities for a career in skilled trades, design and construction management.

The new East English Village Preparatory Academy, 172000 Southampton Street, on the city’s east side, where construction of a $48 million new high school is underway on the site of the former Finney High School, is one of the job sites where students will report to work each week. They will perform construction management tasks under the supervision of the Tooles/Clark design build team, a 55 percent Detroit-headquartered firm.

Applicants had to pass an interview evaluation and maintain a 2.5 grade point average or higher to be accepted in the summer worker 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.

In addition to the new East English Village Preparatory Academy, students will also work at the new $52.1 million Mumford High School construction site. Two new elementary/middle schools, Mackenzie PreK to 8 School and Munger PreK to 8 School, are nearly complete in Southwest Detroit. Highlights of the schools include new gymnasiums, media centers, community clinics, and swimming pools and new artificial turf stadiums at the high schools.

Program manager for the Bond Construction Program is Walbridge Joint Venture, which includes Brailsford & Dunlavey, Walbridge, and Fanning Howey.

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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