One of the keys to getting economic engine of the city of Detroit roaring again is jobs for its residents.

A program to help do just that through teaching the building trades, the Living Trades Academy (LTA) job training pilot program, received a $60,000 grant from the the McGregor Fund. It’s administered by the Michigan Historical Preservation Network.

Detroit has some amazing homes that could be saved, built with high quality materials and top-notch craftsmanship. It also has a shortage of qualified contractors.

The Living Trades Academy is a ten week pilot training program that will teach Detroiters traditional building trades through the rehabilitation of a vacant house in Detroit.

“As Detroit neighborhoods experience an increase in home rehabilitations, property owners are finding a shortage of contractors who have experience working with historic building materials and who understand the importance of maintaining Detroit neighborhoods’ unique characteristics,” said MHPN Executive Director Nancy Finegood. “The Living Trades Academy addresses that shortage by empowering underemployed residents with traditional building skills that will lead to gainful employment and simultaneously help to maintain and restore their neighborhoods.”

According to the MHPN, the home will become a “living lab” where students will learn in-demand building trades from experienced craftspeople and contribute to the restoration of the home.

MHPN’s aim with the LTA job training program is that it will place graduates in top quality, high paying construction jobs in neighborhood revitalization efforts.

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