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Workforce Experts: More Talent Needed to Fill Skilled Trades Gap

In Detroit, there is a disconnect between available jobs and the lack of a skilled workforce to fill these open positions. During the panel, “Skills Wanted: Building Detroit’s Talent,” workforce development experts discussed the importance of providing Detroiters with the skills to fill in-demand jobs.

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Key Takeaways:

  • College is not for everyone. There are good-paying, honorable skilled trades jobs available to Detroiters. However, there is a shortage of qualified workers to fill available jobs.
  • Employers are looking to hire people who view roles in skilled trades as a career and not just simply a job.
  • As interest returns to having a career in skilled trades, it is the business community’s responsibility to expose high school students to the various jobs in the trades.
  • Aside from people questioning, “Am I smart enough to do this?” a lack of finances, education and transportation are other barriers that Detroiters face when deciding to participate in tech training programs.
  • Detroit Training Center offers training and certification programs from everything from heavy equipment operation to blight removal and deconstruction training that helps Detroiters overcome obstacles to employment.
  • As a society, we need to get away from the mindset that skilled trades jobs are dirty.

This session was sponsored by DTE Energy Foundation. Panelists included: Marcus Jones, president of Detroit Training Center; Dannis Mitchell, diversity manager of Barton Malow Co.; and Damien Rocchi, founder and CEO of Grand Circus. The panel was moderated by Dave Meador, vice chairman and chief administrative officer of DTE Energy.

Read more from the 2017 Detroit Policy Conference:

Kym Worthy: Public-Private Partnerships Changing Lives for Sexual Assault Victims