Detroit Regional Chamber > Detroit Policy Conference > Workforce Experts: More Talent Needed to Fill Skilled Trades Gap

Workforce Experts: More Talent Needed to Fill Skilled Trades Gap

March 7, 2017
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.


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.

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