December 18, 2017

Applications open for Access for All

Access for All students give a thumbs up at a work siteA life-changing skilled trades career is a few clicks of a mouse away.

Access for All, a free 13-week construction trades training program, is now accepting applications. To apply, visit UnitedWaySEM.org/ApplyForAccess or contact Tyrese West at 313-736-5282.

The course has a strong success rate. Eight-one percent of graduates ultimately earn a job or apprenticeship in the skilled trades industry.

“Access for All is a stepping stone for Detroiters who are looking to improve their career outlook,” said Clarinda Barnett-Harrison, executive director of the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund and director of Economic Prosperity at United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

“In just 13 weeks, they can learn the skills necessary to begin a lengthy career in an industry where workers are in high demand.”

Members of the Access for All program board up a home.

Powered by partnerships

Access for All is powered by United Way, with co-funding from the City of Detroit Mayor’s Workforce Development Office and Detroit Employment Solution Corp. The program is also made possible by a strong partnership and support from labor unions.

This cohort’s classes will run from Jan. 20 to May 10 at the Randolph Career and Technical Center in Detroit. Classes will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

This is the first time classes have been held outside of a traditional 9 to 5, Monday through Friday schedule.
“There’s been immense interest in this program, but many potential under-employed students were unable to enroll because they worked day jobs or had other responsibilities during the week,” Clarinda said.

“This schedule will allow more Detroiters to better their lives while holding down their day jobs and earning money for their family.”

Earning credentials

Graduates will earn OSHA 30, First Aid/CPR and Asbestos, Lead and Silica Awareness credentials. They’ll also receive tools, support for basic needs like transportation and child-care, and a small stipend for expenses.

La'Tasha Smith, Access for All graduate, at a worksite

To learn more about the impact this class can have on an individual, look no further than La’Tasha Smith. La’Tasha was homeless and living in her car when she enrolled. Months after graduation, she had a good job and a new home.
“Access for All sent me on my way with everything I needed,” La’Tasha said.


Editor’s note: Applicants must be Detroit residents age 18 or older with a valid driver’s license. They must pass a drug test and a physical exam and must score at least a level four in WorkKeys applied math, reading for information and locating information assessments. They also must have reliable transportation to get to and from construction worksites and complete a personal interview with a panel of interviewers.