Yesterday, the City of Detroit announced a new agreement with the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (the state’s largest union of skilled trades workers) to expand opportunities for Detroit residents:

The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights says three of its local units will commit to new targets.

Those include making sure that Detroiters make up at least 25% of new apprentices, and tripling their Detroit membership in the next 10 years.

Joining the city’s Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP) “just makes a lot of sense for everybody,” said MRCCM executive secretary Mike Jackson. “We feel with the amount of work we see coming into Detroit, that those numbers are very doable.” (from Michigan Radio)

From The Detroit News:

“This agreement is the most comprehensive plan in the state to train residents for careers in the skilled trades,” Mayor Mike Duggan added in a statement released Wednesday. “Detroit residents should directly benefit from all of the construction in the city.”

The new partnership is part of the Detroit Skilled Trades Employment Program. The city intends to partner with local unions and their Joint Apprentice Training Committees to set annual goals to increase the number of Detroit members.

Richard Belue, 26, of Detroit, is slated to complete his four-year training program at the Ferndale center in June and become a journeyman. The new commitment to bring in more Detroit residents is sorely needed.

“It’s going to open up a lot of doors for a lot of people that didn’t have that opportunity,” said Belue, who has been working on construction tied to the Little Caesars Arena project downtown. “The most important thing is to give those people a chance.”

Duggan first unveiled the new effort to ensure Detroiters apprenticeship spots in December. At that time, Plumbers Local 98, the Mechanical Contractors Association of Detroit and the Joint Apprenticeship Committee announced that at least 25 percent of all new apprentices to Local 98 will be Detroit residents.