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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

New Carpenter’s Union Training Center Brings Skilled Trade Training to Detroit

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

The new $32 million training center will be built on Detroit’s West Side and will expand job access for Detroiters interested in carpentry through training programs, pre-apprenticeship programs and summer camps.

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A few years ago, Detroit Today’s Stephen Henderson founded a literary arts and community center, the Tuxedo Project, in the house he was born in on Tuxedo Street on Detroit’s West Side. 

I truly believe this training center should be a model for development in the city.” — Tom Lutz, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millworkers.

The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights has announced the groundbreaking of a $32 million training center right at the end of the block where the Tuxedo Project sits. The center will expand access to jobs for Detroiters in an area of the city that has been largely ignored by revitalization efforts. 

Listen: What a Carpenter Training Center Will do in Detroit


Tom Lutz is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights. He says one of the main reasons they chose this location for the training center is to make local residents aware of career paths in the skilled trades that they might not otherwise be exposed to. 

I think the unique thing about this is the variety of individuals we’re trying to address with this,” Lutz says.

He says, in addition to training programs, the center will also provide pre-apprenticeship programs and summer camps. Lutz also says that 25 percent of every incoming class will be comprised of Detroit residents.

Lutz says another major factor in choosing this location for the training center is the increase in construction going on in Detroit as many developers work to restore and renovate older buildings and neighborhoods.

When people ask me why it’s built in Detroit, I ask them if they’ve driven through it recently, the rebirth is one reason,” he says.

Lutz says he hopes the training center will provide residents a better idea of the career paths available through the skilled trades, and also hopes to work with other skilled trade organizations to further education and training for Detroit residents.

I truly believe this training center should be a model for development in the city. I truly believe it will change lives,” Lutz says.

This article was written by Detroit Today student producer Ali Audet.

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