Ford Piquette Plant Partners With Detroit Regional Workforce Fund

Students in the fund's "Access for All" apprenticeship training program help renovate historic Ford facility on Piquette Avenue

DETROIT, Nov. 26, 2014 — (PRNewswire) —  Hammers are pounding at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Museum as students from the "Access for All" apprenticeship training program build walls and assist in installing windows at the 110-year-old factory.

Piquette Plant logo

Access for All is an initiative to assist Detroit residents interested in careers in the construction industry. The apprenticeship readiness training program provides qualified residents with skill sets needed to gain entry into apprenticeship programs offered by construction-industry trade unions.

The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Museum is the birthplace of the Model T and is the first manufacturing facility built by Ford Motor Company. Located at 461 Piquette Avenue in Detroit, it opened in 1904—just one year after the company's founding. Piquette is now a world-class museum open to the public.

The Access for All program is privately funded by a grant from the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund (DRWF). The DRWF is operated by the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and includes both public and private investors.

"The DRWF is addressing a growing gap between the skills workers in Michigan currently have and those they'll need to fill the thousands of jobs with family-sustaining wages that are becoming available as a result of our state's changing economy," said DRWF Director Karen Tyler-Ruiz.

"As we watch all the work going on here at the Piquette plant we're reminded of the Ford trade schools that Henry Ford established," noted Nancy Darga, the Piquette's executive director. "I think Henry Ford would be pleased that one of his factories is once again helping young people learn how to build, create and innovate. The Piquette Plant provided job opportunities to a previous generation of workers and it seems appropriate that this museum should provide a work experience opportunity for students training to become part of a new generation of skilled trades workers."

Access for All Supervisor Quintarus Jenkins laughed that, "These students really learned the old adage, 'measure twice, cut once', as there is not one square corner in this old building. Every piece of lumber had to be fitted for each opening. The fact that they used some salvaged materials from the building added to the challenge."

Both Access for All and the Piquette Museum hope to continue their job training in the future, according to Darga.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of Access for All work at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant are available on request.

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SOURCE Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

Ford Piquette Avenue Plant
Detroit Regional Workforce Fund
Nancy Darga, Executive Director, Ford Piquette Avenue Plant
Phone: +1.313.872.8759, ext. 4
Email Contact Laura L. Rodwan, Detroit Regional Workforce Fund
Phone: +1.313.477.2750
Email Contact Merle Lueckens, AutoCom Associates
Phone: +1.248.647.8621
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