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Plumbing Contractor Helping Detroiters Join the Trades

Benkari Thumb

Adrienne Bennett has been in the plumbing business for nearly 40 years. She was the first African American Licensed Master Plumber in the country.

Today Bennett’s Detroit-based plumbing business, Benkari, is growing as her team has been contracted to manage portions of plumbing work at several construction projects throughout The District Detroit. 

Since she became part of The District Detroit, Bennett says she’s had an influx of Detroiters contacting her about enrolling in apprenticeship programs in the trades.

“With that opportunity, I’m helping others who wouldn’t have the opportunity to get a foot in the door,” said Bennett. “I’m that foot in the door for them.”

Benkari is one of the plumbing contractors working on Little Caesars Arena and surrounding mixed-use buildings as well as managing some underground plumbing work at the new Little Caesars World Headquarters campus expansion on Woodward Avenue.  

During her career, Bennett has worked on or inspected many plumbing projects in the city of Detroit—even having a hand in the restoration of the Fox Theatre in the late 1980s.

“Over 40 years I’ve had the opportunity to be on a lot of projects,” said Bennett. “This particular project, I feel it’s helping to revitalize the city.”

With nearly 1,000 construction workers on site daily, Little Caesars Arena is the largest and most exciting construction project underway in Detroit in many years.  The crew is making amazing progress and the arena is on track to open this September.

The District Detroit is a community effort that’s Michigan Made, Detroit Built—providing jobs, apprenticeships and opportunities to Detroiters and Detroit businesses. More than $100 million in income from the arena project alone is expected for Detroit residents, with significant additional income created through future private developments. More than 100 apprentices have spent time working on the site, learning and earning along the way.

More than $345 million in contracts have been awarded to Detroit-based businesses to construct Little Caesars Arena, representing nearly 60 percent of total contracts, and more than $575 million, or 90 percent of contracts, have been awarded to Michigan businesses.

The District Detroit will ultimately account for a total economic impact of more than $2 billion and create more than 12,500 construction and construction-related jobs in addition to 1,100 permanent jobs.

Watch the progress crews are making on Little Caesars Arena on our live web cams.

About The District Detroit

The District Detroit is one of the largest sports and entertainment developments in the country. Located in the heart of Detroit, this 50-block, mixed-use development led by the Ilitch organization unites six world-class theaters, five neighborhoods and three professional sports venues in one vibrant, walkable destination for people who want to live, work and play in an exciting urban environment. Home to the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Lions - The District Detroit represents the greatest density of professional sports teams in one downtown core in the country.

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