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.



About SkillSmart
SkillSmart is a for-purpose tech company that is reshaping how employers identify and hire talent. Its employer-driven hiring platform helps growing organizations and industries find the talent they need by matching job seekers to employment opportunities based on skills rather than traditional proxies like a degree. SkillSmart has empowered employers and job seekers to make the right match in states across the country—from constructing the nation’s largest rapid transit train service project and a new arena for an NBA team, to staffing large gaming resorts, growing a state’s cybersecurity industry and building regional talent pipelines. SkillSmart’s strategy is revolutionizing data-driven approaches to hiring—closing skill gaps, increasing diversity, and improving social and economic outcomes for job seekers, employers and communities.
About Detroit Pistons
Since their arrival in 1957, the Detroit Pistons have become one of the most storied franchises in the NBA. With over 2,300 regular-season and playoff victories, the club has celebrated three NBA Championships (1989, 1990, 2004), five NBA Finals appearances (1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005) and 11 Eastern Conference Finals appearances. Last season the club made its historic return to Detroit, playing games at the new state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena. The club also broke ground on the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center located in the New Center area, which will serve as the organization’s practice facility and corporate headquarters. Since its purchase by Michigan native Tom Gores in 2011, the organization has focused on operating as a community asset while promoting a culture of innovation and industry-leading thought.
About The Platform
The Platform launched in February 2016, focused on becoming a driving force in the rebuilding of Detroit. We are committed to inclusive development, working solely within the city of Detroit across neighborhoods from center city to the westside and eastside. Our experienced team has decades of experience and a legacy of successful developments in Detroit. Our vision includes quality residential, commercial, and retail opportunities. We develop in ways that honor and contribute to Detroit’s existing social and physical fabric with the goal of creating places and spaces in Detroit that bring people together. Our mission embraces revitalizing neighborhoods, inspiring the next generation, and using design as a tool to make Detroit a great place to live.
About Christman-Brinker
The Christman Company, a Detroit-Based Business who has an office in the Christman-built Fisher Building, was founded in 1894, and has been building in Detroit for 100 years. L.S. Brinker Company, a certified Detroit Headquartered Business and certified Minority Business Enterprise, was founded in 1993 and specializes in providing construction and management related services. Projects together have included the Little Caesars World Headquarters Campus Expansion, Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business, multiple Detroit Public Schools, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan BLUnite, and the Detroit Cornice and Slate building renovation.