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‘Access For All’ Students Cleaning Up Fitzgerald Neighborhood

‘Access For All’ Students Cleaning Up Fitzgerald Neighborhood

Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program Takes Place This Week

DETROIT—This week, students from the current class of “Access for All,” a building and construction trades apprenticeship readiness program and an initiative of the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund (DRWF), are working to clean up the Fitzgerald neighborhood.

These dedicated students have spent the summer learning necessary skills for careers in the building trades, culminating in a community improvement project. While working in the Fitzgerald neighborhood, students are assisting with demolition of blighted garages and clean-up. Work is ongoing all week.

“Access for All is designed to help Detroit workers fill critical needs in the building trades and it has become a huge success. The community project this week helps students put the skills they’ve learned in the classroom to the test on a job site. And it helps them understand what a big impact they have in our communities and making Detroit a better place,” said Don O’Connell, Access For All Community and Employer Engagement Liaison and retired Operating Engineer 324.

The hands-on portion of Access for All training gives students the opportunity to work at an actual construction site, dealing with difficult weather conditions, navigating around various pieces of large equipment and interacting with other project volunteers as well as with the residents in areas where the construction is taking place.

“Access for All is a terrific program that gives students real-world experience in the skilled trades. And they have the opportunity to help clean up a vital neighborhood in Detroit. It’s a win-win for our apprentices and the city,” said Ken Dombrow, Operating Engineers 324 President.

The program is assisted by Adamo Construction, Michigan CAT, RBV Contracting, Inc. and Sunbelt Rentals, which all loaned equipment.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the help of our contractors and their equipment. This project wouldn’t be possible without their generosity and expertise. They are true partners in every sense of the word,” said Lee Graham, Labor Management Education Committee (LMEC) Executive Director, Operating Engineers 324.

Access for All is for residents of the city of Detroit. The initiative offers free, nine-week training with a curriculum designed to prepare students for apprenticeship readiness in the building and construction trades, such as bricklayer, carpenter, electrician or cement mason.

The success of Access for All is the result of an innovative partnership with the building and construction trades, labor unions, contractors, the training organization Michigan Resources Development, Inc. (HRDI), and many other community-based partners and workforce development organizations, including the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund.

More than 91% of Access for All graduates find employment. More than 67% enter into two to five year construction apprenticeship programs, a significant increase for Detroiters who are underrepresented in the field.
For Detroit residents interested in learning more about how to apply to Access for All, visit 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 investors and serves as the fiscal agent.