Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti and DPSCD Board President Dr. Iris Taylor were joined by Mayor Mike Duggan and a host of other business and community leaders as they unveiled a newly improved Randolph Career Technical Education Center.
The center, which will serve hundreds of youths and adults seeking skilled trades training and career opportunities, underwent major renovations this summer. The improvements are part of a partnership between DPSCD, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC), the City of Detroit and Mayor Mike Duggan’s Workforce Development Board that has raised $10 million in funding and in-kind contributions from an array of supporters for improvements to Randolph.
DPSCD is starting with a focus on traditional skilled trades, but hopes to expand into Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in automotive, robotics, coding, cybersecurity and medical professions.
“There is a need to create multiple pathways for students because we realize all our students have different talents,” said Dr. Vitti. “We need to have high school be a springboard to college or the world of work, and has begun here at Randolph is a great example of providing students the skills they need to help them reach their potential.”
For Randolph students, the renovations mean an expansion of program offerings. Courses offered at Randolph will now include carpentry, masonry, plumbing & pipefitting, HVAC, computer-aided design (CAD), heavy equipment simulation and entrepreneurship. Additionally, the popular electrical course will return after a three-year absence.
Jobs in the trades taught at Randolph are currently in high demand, with new construction projects of all sizes breaking ground across the city. Students at Randolph will gain hands-on experience for careers where entry-level positions range from $13-$22/hour. With support from industry partners, students will have the opportunity to learn from local unions, construction contractors, with the potential for paid internships while in school and apprenticeship programs upon graduation.
“For our district to become excellent it will require contributions from everyone,” said Dr. Taylor. “The business community, the civics community, the parents and the children are all necessary for us to succeed.”
Randolph Principal Krista McKinney-King will oversee the implantation of the changes when students return to class September 5. “When our students come through on the first day, they’re going to be floored by the changes: the lighting, the fresh paint, the renovated classrooms,” said McKinney-King. “We think it’s going to energize them and help them get ready to get down to business of learning these trades and build careers.”
Current high school students entering grades 10-12 are eligible to enroll in the half-day program in the morning or afternoon. Transportation from home high schools is available. Those interested in enrolling should go to www.RandolphCareerTech.com and submit an online interest form. Families interested in enrolling in DPSCD can visit http://detroitk12.org/enroll/.
Interested students and their families are encouraged to attend one of two Open House events to tour the facility and view classroom updates. The Open Houses will be held at Randolph Career Tech at 17101 Hubbell Wednesday, August 30th from 1-7 p.m. and Wednesday, September 6th from 3-7 p.m.
“The beauty of this program is that we are going back to our roots,” said Dr. Vitti. “This program is just the first of many steps in the investment and the movement to restore the pride and legacy of DPSCD.”