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Ford's 'fast-track' program helping Detroiters learn trades while working on train station

Posted at 12:15 PM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 18:31:17-04

(WXYZ) — The construction is ongoing at the Michigan Central Station, and one important part of the project is the opportunity it's providing for dozens of Detroiters.

It's a 4-month apprentice-type program for the trades, and some of those who have already gone through it are now working every day and making a good living.

“It’s life-changing, honestly. I hopped around a bit trying to find something that was my niche and I found it here," Juane Bullock said.

Bullock is a mason doing brick and stonework, high up on the century-old Michigan Central Station, and inside it.

He's a graduate of the "fast track" program. It was conceived as part of Ford's commitment to the restoration of the Michigan Central Station, which also provides opportunities and a path for those interested in the trades as a career.

“Let’s use this iconic project to bring people here to work and have on-the-job program training," Rich Bardelli, the man overseeing the construction project, said. “We finished with about 18 individuals. 16 of them were hired directly by these contractors."

For Bullock, it's been a perfect fit.

“I came here with a mindset to be bigger than I was. I came here with the mindset to work hard and show them what I can do and I’m capable, ya know, and it opened a lot of doors for me," he said.

Bullock was hired by Ram Construction Services and he's already been promoted. He said he has bragging rights for life because his name is already on the building.