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Rebuilding our Communities by Building the Trades

Op-Ed: Launching Skilled Trades Charter School is an Economic Tool

August 19th, 2020
Posted by: drouin

It is estimated that by 2026 over half a million jobs will be created in the skilled trades industry including, among others, construction workers, electricians, carpentry, cement and concrete, and drywall repair and installation. While the demand is great, the availability of trained individuals to fill these job opportunities is in short supply.  

This critical shortage is why I launched The Dildilian Foundation for the Building Trades. The primary goal of the Dildilian Foundation is to address the shortage in construction workers through the establishment of its first Charter School scheduled to open in Fall 2021. This charter school will focus on building and skilled trades for high school students with the goal of having partnerships with Michigan-based unions, job placement options for graduating students, and future plans to incorporate veterans and special needs populations. 

I am excited to report the new Academy will be known as The Building Trades School. It will equip young men and women with the skills necessary to pursue a skilled-trades career; training students to become experts in their field and providing them with practical business application to be successful entrepreneurs. The school will develop a local talent pool of employable individuals who are devoted to building their careers and re-building their communities. The hands-on curriculum gives back to the community by revitalizing blighted neighborhoods through the repair, renovation, and restoration of existing homes in addition to building new homes. 

In this unique concept, the investment starts with the Foundation purchasing a group of abandoned, decaying homes. This becomes the classroom. Through the repair and renovation of the home, the Foundation will provide the core for instruction and learning. Each student will 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 resale. 

This total immersion of the student in all aspects of building trades truly sets it apart from other schools. The students will be given exposure to carpentry, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, electrical and more. Combining classroom teaching with working examples makes it possible to develop the necessary skills to be proficient at all levels in the building trades. Furthermore, students are taught advanced skills such as how to write proposals, estimate job costs, and how to order and 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.

The Dildilian Foundation for the Building Trades challenges the norm of schooling and jumps at the chance to provide real, marketable skills to students that would benefit from a non-traditional learning environment. Hoping to open in 2021, the Foundation believes investment into students is an investment for the community and that their school can improve the future of both.

To learn more about the foundation and to contribute to these efforts, visit: or call Greg Dildilian at 248-797-6195

Submitted by Greg Dildilian, Founder of The Dildilian Foundation for the Building Trades

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