Member of the Month February 2020: Wayne County Community College District

The Detroit Regional Chamber recognizes Wayne County Community College (WCCCD) as its February Member of the Month. WCCCD expanded its footprint and presence as a remarkable pathway to higher education in downtown Detroit with the creation of its new $25 million state-of-the-art facility, the WCCCD Curtis L. Ivery Health and Wellness Education Center (HWEC).

WCCCD broke ground on the 80,0000-square-foot building, situated on Fort and Fifth streets, two years ago. The HWEC is a part of WCCCD’s Central Educational Complex which includes the Downtown Campus and District Office – all named after WCCCD Chancellor Curtis L. Ivery in recognition of his transformational leadership at the community college.

“Dr. Ivery has been recognized nationally with multiple awards, honors, and publications for his longstanding advocacy and work in expanding access to higher education,” said Unbreen Amir, WCCCD assistant to the chancellor for administrative communication. “He has assembled academic, community, business, and government leaders at the table across a series of roundtables and conferences to develop strategies to expand educational equity and economic mobility in our region, and throughout the nation,” said Amir.

Funding on the new health and wellness education center was accomplished entirely from WCCCD’s budget and five-year strategic capital investment plan, said Amir.

“The Curtis L. Ivery Health and Wellness Education Center, for example, was the last project cited in the capital investment plan and was completed on time and under budget,” Amir added. “The District has become a national model for its responsible stewardship of its funds.”

The HEWC, which also houses a 1,200-seating capacity arena, will offer a wide range of career and academic programs centered around nutrition, practical training, wellness consulting, physical therapy, various fitness programs, and sports activities.

“It’s the District’s premier hybrid facility, open for all WCCCD students and the community.”


WCCCD serves more than 60,000 credit and non-credit students across six campus locations. The center is expected to open spring 2020.

Lawn Academy Students Explore Exciting Careers During Chamber’s Youth Day

By Daniel A. Washington

For the first time ever, the Detroit Regional Chamber welcomed 20 students from The Lawn Academy along with more than 10 local professionals for a day of learning and career exploration, on April 27.

“We decided this year to do things differently,” said Jennifer Stark, human resources specialist for the Chamber. “In addition to having Chamber employees bring in their children for the day, we dedicated some time and resources to a special group of students to come learn about the Chamber and experience what it is we have to offer.”

Founded in 2009 by Eric Miller and his wife, The Lawn Academy, a nonprofit organization, provides African-American male youth, ages 12 to 18, a chance to serve their community through lawn care service while partaking in a college immersion program. Students serviced more than 500 lawns last year while helping more than 140 seniors, veterans and persons with disabilities across Detroit.

“We aim to help these young men take the next step by giving back to their community while staying focused on their individualistic paths to higher education and success,” Miller said.


Students spent the better part of the day touring the Chamber offices while stopping and talking to employees about their job functions, engaging with several small groups of professionals about career opportunities, and playing a trivia game about the Chamber and best practices for social media.

Visiting professionals and Chamber staff led meaningful conversations about careers in law, finance and information technology. Other companies and organizations that were represented included Develop Detroit, University of Michigan, Henry Ford College, Century Partners and Wayne County Community College District.

“We are really appreciative of the Chamber and how it opened its doors to our young men,” said Miller. “The day was just flat-out awesome.”

For more information or to support the The Lawn Academy click here.

Daniel A. Washington is an integrated marketing specialist at the Detroit Regional Chamber.

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