FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Detroit Pistons Partnership Aims to Increase Workforce Participation on Construction of Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center
SkillSmart technology helps match candidates with positions; Detroit At Work to help prospective workers gain the skillset needed for future employment
The Detroit Pistons, The Platform and Christman-Brinker today launched a new partnership with SkillSmart to create a workforce development system for the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, helping not only connect Detroit residents with good-paying jobs, but also giving them valuable work skills.
Utilizing SkillSmart technology, Detroiters will have direct access to workforce opportunities created around construction of the new state-of-the art practice facility and team headquarters located in the New Center area. And, for Detroiters requiring additional training and skill development, the City of Detroit’s Workforce Development arm, Detroit At Work, will provide Detroiters free job skills training.
“Our goal is to increase construction workforce opportunities for Detroit residents now and in the future,” said Pistons Vice Chairman Arn Tellem. “Using SkillSmart will not only align Detroit job seekers with available positions at the new performance center site, but create a more qualified pipeline of potential employees that will be mutually beneficial for job seekers and employers throughout the coming years as additional construction projects begin throughout the city of Detroit.”
The SkillSmart system is available at www.buildppc.com and will serve as a valuable resource for both job seekers and employers. The site categorizes available positions by using necessary skills and prerequisites, while inviting job seekers to build an individual profile based on their work experience, training and education, and other life experiences. The tool will then provide them with a score for each available position showing how well their skill set and qualifications align with the job, while also suggesting resources – such as the free training programs through Detroit At Work – that help potential employees become stronger candidates for available positions through additional training opportunities.
The Detroit Pistons partnership with Detroit At Work is already supporting Detroit’s future workforce as the organization has contributed $100,000 to the Randolph Career Technical Center through the Detroit Employment Solutions Corp. “We are grateful for the Detroit Pistons’ commitment to help build a construction skill trades pipeline for both students and adults at Randolph Career Tech Center,” said Jeff Donofrio, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Team.
Job seekers at any stage of their search will benefit from the SkillSmart platform whether they’re searching for a job that matches their current skill set; looking to expand their qualifications; or simply starting their search and learning about the types of positions that will be available and how to begin preparing for future opportunities. By building a SkillSmart profile, prospective employees will learn how to become better-prepared for future opportunities and take a step toward developing a stronger and more prepared workforce that will benefit the entire city of Detroit.
SkillSmart’s technology and programming provides a multi-faceted approach aimed at helping construction of the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center achieve the decades-old challenge of meeting a 51 percent Detroit-based workforce on construction projects.
“For many years, large-scale development projects have fallen short of reaching the city’s 51 percent Detroit-based workforce requirement because there simply hasn’t been enough skilled-trade workers in the city. And, this benchmark becomes increasingly more difficult to reach today with so many projects currently competing for the same workforce,” said Pat Devlin, Secretary Treasurer of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. “The Detroit Pistons are being proactive in their approach to implement a workforce development platform that encourages immediate participation from qualified candidates interested in construction skilled trades apprenticeships, while also enhancing Detroit’s future workforce potential by directing other applicants to additional training programs.”
“Increasing Detroit’s skilled labor force by bringing those who seek to enter the workforce together with employers who are offering jobs is an important goal in our developments,” said Dietrich Knoer, President and CEO of The Platform. “We believe that the new affiliation with SkillSmart will increase The Platform’s impact on work force development in Detroit.”
The Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center will create construction-related jobs in the short-term while increasing city income tax and property tax revenue generated by the organization’s relocation to the city. The building is slated to open next summer. The first phase of construction has begun as foundation work, concrete basement walls and underground utilities have been completed. Structural steel work has commenced on the site with concrete floor pours expected to begin in late September.
“It’s clear the Detroit Pistons, The Platform and Christman-Brinker are committed to using local workforce development as an opportunity to drive regional economic growth,” said SkillSmart co-founder Jason Green. “This project will provide the Detroit community with both the near-term benefits and job creation around construction of the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, as well as the long-term benefits of understanding and building a talent pipeline for the future of the city.”
Last year, The Platform LLC was selected as developer and owner’s representative for the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center and Christman-Brinker was selected to be the construction manager for all components of the development. Detroit architecture firm Rossetti is the architect. These Detroit-based businesses have formed a powerful and experienced team to develop this new world-class facility. The development will include a parking garage to be shared with Henry Ford Health System and utilize public spaces to allow for community activities, networking receptions and other team-hosted events.