Ilitch Organization to Sponsor Construction Career Days for 500 Detroit Youth

Olympia Development of Michigan sponsors 2016 Michigan Construction Career Days to connect students with career opportunities in the city’s construction boom

Michigan Made, Detroit Built Little Caesars Arena and The District Detroit continue to bring jobs and opportunity to people and businesses across the city, region and state

DETROIT Nearly 500 students from Detroit will head to the Operating Engineers 324 Training and Education Center in Howell, Mich. on May 5 and 6 for the 2016 Michigan Construction Career Days. There the students will work side-by-side with construction professionals and learn about careers in the industry. As part of its effort to invest in the next generation of Michigan’s workforce, Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) is joining forces with state and local partners and serving as a Gold Sponsor of the two-day event. ODM is the Ilitch organization leading the development of The District Detroit – a 50-block, mixed-use development project in downtown Detroit.

ODM partnered with local unions, Access for All, the Downtown Detroit Partnership and Detroit Public Schools to provide students in grades 7-12 with a chance to learn about and participate in hands-on construction-related activities. Students from Cass Tech High School, Randolph Career and Technical Center, Osborne College Preparatory Academy, Cody’s Public Leadership Academy and Detroit Institute of Technical College Prep High Schools will have the opportunity to do everything from operate heavy equipment to learn carpentry skills under expert supervision.

“Detroit’s construction boom, coupled with an intense demand for skilled laborers in the area represents an opportunity for young people to pursue meaningful careers in the trades and construction industries,” said Steve Marquardt, vice president of Olympia Development of Michigan. “Currently, we have 41 apprentices from Detroit working on the Little Caesars Arena job site, and we anticipate this number will continue to grow as we make more young people aware of these programs. We’re proud to sponsor this event as part of our commitment to create job opportunities for Detroiters. And we hope to have many of these young men and women join us in the future as we build The District Detroit.”

ODM will provide a Little Caesars pizza lunch to all attendees and will also host a booth where students can gather information on the opportunities and apprenticeship programs offered at The District Detroit development. Students will also get to interact with general contractors such as Barton Malow, the building trade unions, Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association and others.

“ODM’s program mirrors my vision to provide access to skilled trades and technical positions for Detroit youth,” said Brenda Jones, President, Detroit City Council “Some of our students are better suited to this career path than attending college. This program exposes them to the elements of a trade and helps them to see the great standard of living that tradespeople can achieve.”

“The city of Detroit has committed significant resources to ensuring Detroit’s youth are aware of and prepared for careers in the skilled trades,” said Ricardo Marble, youth services director for the office of the mayor. “Companies like Olympia Development of Michigan are true partners in that effort and we continue to appreciate its efforts to support educational programming and, more importantly, to create jobs with developments like The District Detroit.”

Construction of the arena and surrounding District is expected to generate more than $2 billion in total economic impact, 8,300 construction and construction-related jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs. To date, $416 million in contracts (92% of contracts) have been awarded to Michigan-based organizations and $298 million (66% of contracts) to Detroit-based and -headquartered businesses. In addition, Detroit residents have logged over 129,000 work hours on the site.

Students and schools that are interested in participating in the 2016 Michigan Construction Career Days should visit to register and gather additional information.

About The District Detroit

The District Detroit will be made up of a dynamic mix of sports and entertainment venues, including six world-class theatres and three professional sports venues – home to the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions. The District Detroit will also feature retail and residential developments, offices and hotels that connect these venues into one contiguous, walkable area, where families, sports fans, entrepreneurs, job seekers, entertainment lovers and others who crave a vibrant urban setting can connect with each other and the city they love. A Michigan Made, Detroit Built project, The District Detroit continues to transform lives by bringing jobs and opportunity to people and businesses across the city, region and state.

About Olympia Development of Michigan

Olympia Development of Michigan is a Detroit-based full-service real estate company owned by Detroit entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch. The company is responsible for developing and investing in some of Detroit’s most recognized and visited venues, including the nationally-acclaimed Comerica Park and is currently leading the development of The District Detroit. Other Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Champion Foods and Ilitch Holdings. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns the MotorCity Casino Hotel.

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