The Detroit Regional Workforce Fund builds and invests in public-private workforce industry partnerships that stimulate sustainable economic growth by developing and maintain a skilled workforce. The DRWF is creating career pathways for Detroiters through innovative initiatives, like Access for All, a free, nine-week training program that prepares students for pre-apprenticeship opportunities in the construction trades.
Karen Tyler-Ruiz, Executive Director of the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund says Access for All is “designed to help support individuals so that they have a more successful chance of entering into an apprenticeship program in the construction trades—which can ultimately lead to a variety of exciting career opportunities.”
“The Detroit Regional Workforce Fund and United Way for Southeastern Michigan are trying to open up the door and create pathways. Think about it. If you go from an $8 per hour job to a $30 per hour job, your life will change drastically. We want to get the word out that we are really trying to create career pathways that have good job opportunities for folks to be able to raise a family in Detroit.”
The demand for Detroit residents trained in the construction trades, Tyler-Ruiz said comes “at a time when Detroit is seeing significant growth in well-paying careers and Access for All puts it students on the path to securing and keeping one of those much-sought-after construction careers.”
Development in Detroit is evident with the constant sighting of construction vehicles and road closures.
“There are new housing projects down at the riverfront. There are commercial buildings that are going up and renovations and improvements that are going on everywhere. The international bridge between Windsor and Detroit is still being planned. So, that will come on line at some point and the Michigan Department of Transportation is working on the constant improvement of our infrastructure,” she said of current and future construction projects.
This alone, she believes, makes Access for All an incredible resource for Detroiters seeking employment opportunities that will garner living wages.
“Another example in a career pathway is exposing youth to the construction trades as early as middle school and certainly in high school and United Way is doing that by helping ensure students will be successful.”
“It’s nice to look at the continuum of what United Way does in the high schools and then what the DRWF is doing at the post high school level and trying to make sure Detroiters know about and access these opportunities,” Tyler-Ruiz said.
The next Access for All class session begins on April 17. Detroit residents who are interested in learning more about how to apply, visit accessforalldetroit.com or call (313) 736-5290.
About the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund (DRWF)
The DRWF connects unemployed and underemployed individuals with skills training required to develop a “career pathway” which ultimately can lead to a secure, well-paying job that meets the workforce needs of employers and the larger community. The DRWF invests in demand-driven training initiatives and spearheads collaborative efforts with other organizations in a wide variety of industries. One of its hallmark initiatives is Access for All. As the term “career pathway” implies, the training and learning opportunities offered through Access for All lead not just to jobs, but to careers.
About Access for All
Access for All is funded by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund (DRWF). The DRWF is a public-private workforce funders’ collaborative and is housed at United Way for Southeastern Michigan, which is also one of its key investors and serves as the fiscal agent.