Access for All, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund, is a pre-apprenticeship program in the construction trades. A new nine-week training class begins on February 6, and any Detroiter interested in enrolling should visit http://accessforalldetroit.com right away.
There are at least five important reasons to participate in this program:
*More than 91 percent of graduates find employment, and more than 66 percent are accepted into longer-term construction apprenticeships (such as carpentry, electrical and heavy equipment) at a time of unprecedented demand in southeastern Michigan for construction trades workers.
* Access for All is a free, nine-week (294-hour) program with a curriculum that is designed to prepare students for employment opportunities immediately following graduation.
* After completing the training, graduates are ready for immediate employment.
* The pre-apprenticeship program is a gateway to full apprenticeships that lead to well-paying and secure jobs. The average hourly pay rate for Access for All graduates is $15.00 per hour and can increase to $28.00-$36.00 for those who complete a construction apprenticeship.
* Application requirements are simple. An applicant must live in Detroit, be at least 18-years-old and have a valid Michigan driver’s license.
There is a wide range of participants in the nine-week training classes, but many of the students currently are unemployed or under-employed. In a recent class, one student had a strong math background, but had decided he wanted to work with his hands. Access for All was his entry into a new career. Another student was an immigrant who had worked in construction helping his father, but wasn’t aware
that those skills could translate into a slot as an apprentice in carpentry while still earning wages. Again, Access for All was the answer. A third was a young man who had a criminal conviction as a result of a youthful mistake. When he disclosed this history, he was pleased to find that his conviction was not an obstacle to training for a position as an electrician.
“This program has contractors waiting for these graduates. It’s been a big success, in my mind,” says Brian Kiley, co-owner of Edgewood Electric.
Edgewood Electric, Dan’s Excavating, Inc. and C.A. Hull Co., Inc. are just three of the many companies that have hired graduates of Access for All.