New Union Carpenters and Millwrights Training Center opens

DETROIT (WXYZ) — “I have three little kids at home and I’m here for them too. Building a career and a life for ourselves and this is a great place to do that,” Lily Bradow.

This place for Lily Bradow and hundreds of others is the brand new, $30 million Union Carpenters and Millwrights Vocational Training Center on the west side of Detroit.

“Now is the time to recruit and train for the skilled trades and we now have the most fabulous facility in our entire state to do just that,” said Tom Lutz, president of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights.

Tom Lutz introduced the 145,000 square foot facility. The building is visible from the I-96 freeway and offers a path to a future for those who want something other than a college degree.

“The opportunity is to come to school here, one day, every two weeks, for 4 years,” Lutz said. “What’s unique is that you don’t pay to come here, you get paid to come here.”

It definitely appealed to Kentae Parker of Pontiac who gets hands-on work as an apprentice while learning in the classroom after spending three years at Oakland University.

“I was passionate about sports and I felt that health sciences would be the right path for me, it’s just that after a while I realized that was not the case and I fell in love with doing this type of work, along with the trades, so I decided to make my decision to change,” said student Kentae Parker.

“For 40 years people have been saying you have to go to college for four years, and so frankly we need to change the culture and the mindset and remind people what a good opportunity this is. good pay, good benefits, including health care benefits, pensions and annuities,” Lutz said.

The need is as great as the opportunities for the next generation of skilled trades workers.

As we walked through the building, Lutz pointed out some of the many areas that allow for hands-on training.

“We have 30 welding booths, which provide opportunities for certified welders, and this training for carpenters, millwrights and display workers,” Lutz said.

“We have shop courses that train the men and women who work in our display industry. We have a comprehensive flooring lab that provides opportunities for men and women who install resilient materials, carpets, hardwoods, ceramics and polished concrete,” Lutz said.

“So this is going to look like a hospital?” asked Dave LewAllen of WXYZ.

“It will look like a hospital in a few months. It is being built by our apprentices, but it will be used to train infection control risk assessment training for years to come,” Lutz said.

And that only scratches the surface of what’s available here – for Lily and the others.

“You see everything you could potentially see about work here, all in one place,” Bradow said.

“The opportunities are just amazing, and the initial investment is yours alone. If you want to do this, if you’re ready to build Detroit with us, come along,” Lutz said. Committed to bringing up to 25% of the city’s residents into every learning class, so if you really believe in building Detroit, we’re all in.”

There are six training centers in the state.

For more information: Building Michigan’s Future

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