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Rebuilding our Communities by Building the Trades


Introduction and Background

The need to address the failing of education in our inner cities becomes more important, as cities become increasingly aware that the current educational system fails more students, because it does not promote the education of hands-on skills. To assist with this, The Dildilian Foundation for the Building Trades (the “Dildilian Foundation” or the “Foundation”), a nonprofit corporation currently seeking 501(c)(3) status, proposes the creation of a charter school (the “Charter School”) in the Detroit area that would focus on delivering high school diplomas while teaching skilled building trades to its students.

The Dildilian Foundation charter school concept would identify students who have an aptitude and interest in learning a skilled trade. It would also give the student an opportunity to start a business and contribute toward the development and staffing needs of the charter school after successfully completing its course curriculum. The Charter School would be funded using the State School Aid foundation, state and federal grants, and donations from the Dildilian Foundation and other donors and partners.

The Foundation and Charter School would be a new model for public and private interests. Currently there is no other program that exists with the depth that the Dildilian Foundation for the Building Trades and the Charter School can offer. It would be a collaborative effort on the part of business, private investors, unions and State and Federal grants. It would be a venture that would motivate future leaders by stressing the importance of giving back to their neighborhood community by rebuilding neighborhoods that are forgotten or in economic distress.


Focused Skilled Trades Taught

Focused Skilled Trades Taught

Design • Renovation • Landscape architecture • Land reclamation – sand in, junk out • Hazardous material abatement • Cement and Concrete • Foundation repair and construction • Rough Construction – Rough Carpentry • Electrical • Plumbing • HVAC • Insulation installation and technology • Drywall repair and installation • Finish carpentry • Painting • Roofing • Green technology • Program management • Contract management • Building management skills.

Formal Classroom Educational Opportunities

General business skills, writing and reading – tutorial if necessary • Formal business writing skills • Estimating/math skills • Order and material procurement skills • Building code requirements • Education on tools, function and safety

The Dildilian Foundation for the Building Trades is totally unique in its concept and execution. Stated quite frankly, there is no other similar type of school operating in the entire United States.

First and foremost, The Building Trades School meets all the curriculum requirements established by the State of Michigan to educate secondary students and grant them a high school diploma. Within this context, the Building Trades School concentrates its teaching on the skills necessary to be successful in the building trades. This ensures that the math, writing and reading skills learned will provide the basis for executing the higher-level job requirements leading eventually to an apprenticeship program and beyond.

What makes the Building Trades School so unique is its total emersion of the student in all aspects of the building trades. The students are given a broad exposure to the various types of skills required in the building trades, such as carpentry, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, electrical and more. Combining classroom teaching with hands-on training in real time, makes it possible to develop the necessary skills to be proficient at all levels in the Building Trades. Furthermore, students are taught higher level skills such as how to write proposals, estimate job costs, and how to order & procure materials. Students become well-grounded in building code requirements, the function and application of tools, and how to create and work in a safe environment. At the end of the program each student will go through the process of what it is to sell the property that they rehabilitate and what it is to acquire a mortgage on the property.

Upon graduation, the student will be prepared to enter an apprenticeship program to continue training in their chosen fields or if they choose they will be in a position to start their own business.


The investment starts with a group of homes that are vacant and in a state of disrepair. The Foundation would purchase these vacant homes for the sole purpose of becoming the classroom. The Foundation will then make the homes available to the Charter School for use in teaching skilled building trades to its students through the repair and renovation of the home. Each home would provide the core for instruction and learning. Each student would be a part of a team that progresses through each phase of the home renovation and each stage of the skilled trade that is required to complete the property for re-sale.

Upon entering the Charter School, each student would be given a basic set of tools. As the renovation progresses new tools would be provided. During each stage of the renovation, an exam would be given to evaluate learning, understanding and to ensure that the skills are being taught and understood. Along with testing, each level of achievement would satisfy the requirement of accreditation and licensure in an applicable trade.

Other formal classroom curriculum in the Charter School, outside of the home renovation, would teach writing, math, science, business etiquette, legal skills, and pre-licensure testing for State requirements.

While each level of training will occur with real, hands-on experience, the education will not stop when the home platform is completed. Students would then be required to be involved in the sale of the home. This will include learning about the mortgage process and how a potential buyer goes about buying a home.

After graduation, students would be strongly encouraged to give back a certain amount of their time in the capacity of instruction or mentoring.

Additionally, the objective is to rebuild the decaying neighborhoods that were once the hallmark of a thriving city. When a renovated property is sold to families who want to live in the city, other investment opportunities become available. Land development for shopping centers, restaurants, and store fronts become the norm, which increases the local property values and tax base of the city. And further still, these young adults will graduate from the Charter School with a leg up on securing skilled trades jobs, which are desperately needed in the City. They will get jobs in the City, pay taxes in the City, and further reinvest and rebuild the City.

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

The Dildilian Foundation for the Building Trades is devoted to schooling young men and women in the skilled trades with the purpose and goal of developing entrepreneurial skills, individual self-confidence, and income creation for students. The Foundation and the Charter School will create a local talent pool of employable individuals that are devoted to building their careers and re-building their communities. The purpose of the Foundation is to raise funds for the building trades Charter School, which will revitalize blighted neighborhoods through the repair, renovation, and restoration of existing homes. The Dildilian Foundation for The Building Trades will foster and encourage parental and community support and involvement at all levels to ensure success.

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