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$10M boosts Detroit school prepping students, adults for jobs By Lori Higgins

School classroom

City, school and business officials unveiled the improvements Monday at the school, which they say will become a flagship for construction and skilled-trades programs.

The Free Press earlier this month wrote about the plans for Randolph as district officials were looking at a plan to phase out the traditional high school at the building. At the time, city officials wouldn't say how much money had been raised to fund the improvements at the school.

The $10 million is going toward upgrading the building, equipment and high school and adult programs.

 

The partnership that has worked to transform Randolph includes the Detroit Public Schools Community District, the Detroit Employment Solutions Corp., the city of Detroit and the city's Workforce Development Board.

"This partnership and others like it create an undeniable return on investment for the school district, city, and the next generation of students and citizens," Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of the Detroit district, said in a news release.

Randolph used to enroll 600 students. But enrollment had fallen  to about 150. A few years ago, the district decided to add a traditional high school program at the school. But the traditional program has struggled to hire certified math and science teachers.

 

Randolph's programs include carpentry, masonry, plumbing and pipefitting, HVAC, computer-aided design, heavy equipment simulation and entrepreneurship. The electrical course, which has been absent for three years, will return. The focus is on providing training in fields that are in high demand.

The goal is to increase enrollment to 900 students over three years. And the hope is to enroll 900 people in new adult training programs that will begin this school year.

Randolph "has a proud history of preparing Detroit residents for good-paying careers in the skilled trades," Mayor Mike Duggan said in the release.

"With the construction boom in our city likely to last for many years, we need to train every Detroiter we can so they can participate in the city's comeback."

A number of businesses have been involved in the partnership, including DTE Energy, which took the lead on project management and Barton Malow, which led construction management, the release said. Gensler provided design services and Bedrock made technology donations. The Wayne Regional Educational Services Agency and the Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan also contributed to the project.

A number of unions worked with the partners to ensure the Randolph programs aligned with industry standards. And improvements were funded by a number of other companies.

High school students take classes for a half day, five days a week. Programs for adults will take place in the afternoon and evenings.

Two open houses will provide more information, as well as an opportunity to tour the school and see classroom updates. The open houses will be 1-7 p.m. Wednesday and 3-7 p.m. Sept. 6. The school is at 17101 Hubbell.

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