Georgia native and current Detroit resident Marcus Jones, 27, found an opportunity to help get Detroiters back to work as co-founder and director of Detroit Training Center. Jones, originally from Atlanta, moved to Detroit, Michigan after attending graduate school at Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. He fell in love with Detroit after spending some time doing research on real estate development and neighborhood development and trying to understand how the city was going to turn itself around. Jones saw an opportunity in the city of Detroit for community cohesiveness and community redevelopment.
On Starting the Detroit Training Center
“So we started the Detroit training center in 2012. At the time I was working in Chicago but I was selling real estate in Michigan and I hooked up with these guys who were looking to expand their current business, which was a construction staffing company. I let them know that I was working with the U.S. Green Building Council and that I was working with schools across the country to help them develop sustainability curriculums. We started to talk, and again my background is in real estate, and I was like I want to do development here in Detroit. But their need, like my need, was there weren’t enough skilled people in Detroit to do the actual work. And so that’s where we got the idea that we need to start a school to get enough skilled people to do these projects. So I quit my job in Chicago, and we hit the ground running and we started the school with the money in our pockets and our bank accounts and we grew the company to what it is today. Today we’re a licensed vocational school; we’re licensed by the federal and state government and we train in the areas of Construction, Heavy Equipment, Facility Maintenance, and Landscaping. The ultimate goal for individuals in our program is to help them get jobs, get work, in areas that we train in. So we kind of grew out of just being a center that provides both federal and state licenses to a full fledge work force development provider helping people from the city get jobs in particular areas and developing long term career for people around the city. Over the last 3 years we’ve trained over 600 people.”
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