As part of an ongoing commitment to community engagement and making job opportunities available to Detroiters, Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) and Related Companies (Related) held their first Contractor Fair on June 27 in partnership with Detroit at Work.
Contractors large and small attended the fair to learn information about the multi-building developments planned for The District Detroit, which includes market-rate and affordable housing, hotels, education and office space, as well as public common areas.
“This was an informative session that provided the information that we as contractors need so that we can be prepared to do our best job, and show up and show out,” said Adrienne Bennett of Detroit-based Benkari Mechanical. Bennett, who worked on the Little Caesars Arena project, is North America’s first and only African-American female licensed master plumber and plumbing contractor.
The joint venture developments between Olympia and Related prioritizes prosperity for Detroiters through its core values of Engagement, Education, Environmental Justice, Economic Inclusion and Employment. By leveraging state and private investment, the developments’ economic and fiscal benefits for Detroit are expected to result in 12,000 construction jobs, 6,000 permanent jobs, 695 new residential units, with 139 affordable units, and a $751 million net benefit to the City of Detroit.
“We serve Detroiters, and we are willing to do the groundwork to build those skills for young people who are actually ready for these opportunities,” said Erika Page, Director of Youth Program Services for Detroit at Work: YouthBuild. “I’m honored to be invited here today to meet these contractors and share a little bit about our programing so that they are aware that we’re here to help them grow their talent pool. It’s a win – win.”
Detroit’s YouthBuild program provides an intensive, full-time, six-month construction pre-apprenticeship opportunity which helps young people obtain credentials and career skills that lead to permanent employment. Detroit at Work partners with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s Workforce Development Board, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporations and Detroit Work Career Centers to help Detroit find training, apprenticeships, and jobs.
“This contractor fair was a huge success. We were thrilled with the turnout and the opportunity to expand our current relationships and form new ones with local contractors – large and small,” said Yanet Garcia, Vice President of Construction at Related. “Across our projects in The District Detroit there is something for everyone – and not just those who are contractors. Through our partnership with Detroit at Work, we are proud to be an outlet for those looking for work or interested in a career change.”
Detroit City Councilmembers Fred Durhal III, Gabriela Santiago-Romero, Mary Waters and Coleman A. Young II also participated in the event, encouraging Detroit contractors and businesses to avail themselves of training, apprenticeship and job opportunities.
The Contractor Fair is one in a long chain of events aimed at engaging the community in the planning, building and activating of The District Detroit. Recently, ODM and Related hosted their first design charrette for Columbia Plaza. Additionally, The District Detroit Opportunity Center will open in July at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Montcalm and to help anyone looking for a job or housing in The District Detroit.