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Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County Partners with Oakland University and others to create the Talent Development Coalition (TDC)

A new innovative workforce education initiative project will prepare citizens in the construction trade through Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County and Oakland University

Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County has partnered with Oakland University to help Pontiac school graduates and Pontiac residents with employment in the construction trade and future homeownership through a new Workforce Education initiative.

The Oakland University Pontiac Initiative is collaborating with more than 27 organizations from government, industry, education, and non-profit as part of the TDC, which seeks to provide training and jobs for un- or underemployed workers using a $150,000 Marshall Plan for Talent Innovation Grant from the State of Michigan.

Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County Partners with Oakland University and others to create the Talent Development Coalition (TDC)
TDC pre-apprentices received certificates of completion at the conclusion of the 12 week program.

During the twelve-week program, the participants will spend three days each week working at a Habitat work site to learn specific building techniques and practices. With support from the Marshall Plan Grant, the remainder of the week will be spent with mentors and construction professionals in the classroom. After completing the TDC program, students are encouraged to start formal apprenticeships with company or union programs or to continue their education at Baker College, Oakland Community College, or Oakland University.

“By adding apprenticeship to our volunteer model – and engaging in workforce development, Habitat is creating a bridge to employment and home ownership.”  Says Tim Ruggles, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County, “Students over 18 who complete the program and are employed also may qualify to become Habitat homeowners. We also hope to have a positive impact on the current labor shortage in the construction industry.”

The initiative follows Habitat’s hand-up/not hand-out model, by building up the TDC participants to sustain their career and finances, thus creating a brighter future. During their training, they will be paid through Michigan Works!  and curriculum expenses are covered by individual, corporate and Pontiac Promise Zone contributions. The program focuses on job placement with partner employers in the industry including 1-800-Hansons and American House upon completion of the program.

“The TDC is a transformational construct which combines leaders and stakeholders from across all sectors and backgrounds,” said Pontiac Mayor Deidre Waterman. “Coming together under the banner of our five year long OU Pontiac Initiative, the TDC will create meaningful programs for our citizens, community, and our economy.”

Through the TDC, Habitat hopes to serve as a catalyst for closing the gap between untrained individuals and a competent workforce. Participants will learn to strengthen the community through engaging in meaningful work, educating themselves to brighten their careers and futures, and strengthening the human workforce and economic development.

Both men and women are encouraged to apply, and Non-Pontiac residents may also apply.

For more information on the pre-apprentice construction program, please contact: JR Lafnear at 1-800-Hansons, ext. 3621 or clafnear@hansons.com