High Schoolers Learn Carpentry, Help Fix Up a Detroit Neighborhood

 The Tuxedo neighborhood on Detroit’s west side is seeing changes. The Michigan Council of Carpenters and Millwrights trade union is finishing their new training center on what was an empty field along I-96 near Grand River and Livernois Avenues.

Part of the union’s mission is to train more Detroiters to join the trades.

This summer, the union started a boot camp in the city so high school students can learn what it’s like to become a carpenter.

The students have been helping repair porches and handrails around the Tuxedo neighborhood.

It’s a free service for residents, and the students get paid to do it.

“We’re not here to make them carpenters,” carpentry instructor Jamal Al said. “We’re here to introduce them to carpentry so they can touch it, feel it, do it, make the mistakes on it, make sure that they understand that it’s not life ending.”

Some of the students have already committed to a career in carpentry after experiencing the camp.

See more in this One Detroit report.


For more content on the changing nature of work and the long-term impact on workers, employers, educators, and communities, check out the PBS national 3-part series, Future of Work, premiering on Sept. 1st at 10 p.m. ET on Detroit Public TV.

Funding for Future of Work is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, The James Irvine Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and through the support of PBS viewers.

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