Business/education partnerships: three workforce programs that get results.

Author:Monts, Rodd
Position:Workforce - Educational and employment opportunities

Detroit Compact

A program of the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Detroit Public Schools, the Detroit Compact program provides educational and employment opportunities for students who maintain certain academic, attendance and conduct guidelines. The program is supported by dozens of business partners from across the region.

Compact students who meet the program's job-ready standards are provided summer or full-time employment and also have the option of attending Wayne County Community College or Schoolcraft Community College. They may also enter Focus:HOPE's training program.

Students who stick to the program's college track earn tuition assistance at one of 25 universities across the state and four historically black universities in other states.

The Compact and other business partnerships are helping a variety of students around the Detroit Region prepare for life after they graduate from high school, whether that means going on to college or entering the workforce right away.

Detroit Diesel

Detroit Diesel is investing money and lending manpower to introduce students in the Wayne/Westland school district to manufacturing opportunities. The company has a program for local students from Westland John Glenn, Wayne Memorial, Melvindale, North Allen Park and Redford Thurston high schools.

For the past four years, Detroit Diesel has taken groups of students through a two-year program, administered through the William D. Ford Career-Technical Center in Westland. Students work with the company's trainers and skilled tradesmen from its factory in the summers following their junior and senior years.

United Auto Workers Local 163 and Spring Engineering & Manufacturing in Canton also support the effort. The current class includes about 25 students, and more than 100 have participated in the program since its inception.

Participants learn how to monitor gauges, read blueprints, assemble engines and tackle a variety of problem-solving skills that will give them a boost in the job market. Each student works alongside a plant employee, who serves as a mentor.

Students who successfully complete the program are put into the company's pool of potential employees. Seven students from the first training class were hired. But for Detroit Diesel, the...

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