Construction Training and Internship Program for Detroit Students

Michelle Knierim ·

Over the past 3 years, The Construction Association of Michigan (CAM) has been approached by several of its member companies about the lack of young people entering the construction industry. During a series of roundtable discussions, workforce development continued to be a trending topic. To address this growing concern, CAM joined forces with EDSI to develop a pilot program called “3D.” 3D stands for develop, design and deliver.

EDSI just completed the first 3D boot camp training at the UAW Ford building in Detroit, Michigan. The training was a 5 day training that taught juniors in high school more about the construction industry. They learned about careers in the industry, workplace readiness skills, communication, construction terminology and overview, the construction process (development, design, bidding, pre-construction, close out), money management and basic finance, technology in the construction industry and safety requirements. We partnered with 6 different schools throughout the city of Detroit to include both charter and public schools.

We had 20 students participate in the training and partnered with 17 employers in the area. On the last day of the training we held a graduation ceremony. Students were very excited to be part of this pilot training program. One student shared that he has never had a male figure in his life and felt that the instructor and one of the board members really filled that void. He is hoping to stay in contact with these two individuals. Another student thanked all of us for believing in her and giving her a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Working with this great group of students has truly been a rewarding experience for me. It is great to work with students that live and go to school in the city of Detroit. Watching the students grow during the first week of the boot camp training was also very gratifying. A few students reached out after their first day saying, “Day 1 of my internship was very educational” and another said “I had a great day and I learned so much and it was just my first day. Everyone at my job was so kind and welcomed me with open arms. I cannot wait to learn so much more throughout the summer. And once again, thank you for the opportunity.” I have also received positive feedback from employers regarding the students first day on the job!

We look forward to sharing additional success stories once the students complete their 7 week internship program in the construction industry. To learn more about the program, please click here!