In 2016, the Detroit Public Schools Community District found itself in a tough position. The Randolph Career and Technical Center, a city high school on Detroit’s west side, saw attendance drop to 100 students and was faced with the risk of closure. With the biggest challenge being an aged facility and outdated equipment due to a lack of funding, DTE Energy decided to visit the school. After meeting passionate students, instructors, and staff, DTE noticed the overwhelming potential and decided Randolph deserved the opportunity to continue its impact in the community.
The DTE Energy Foundation provided $500,000 to refurbish Randolph and relaunch its skilled trades curriculum. The seed funding spurred community partner contributions totaling $10 million. Since the revival of Randolph, enrollment has tripled to more than 300 students. An additional 250 adults have begun taking evening classes and admissions are increasing again this fall.
Following the success of Randolph, DTE has once again joined in partnership with the city, along with business leaders across the region in support of Breithaupt Career and Technical Center. The school currently provides 450 students in grades 10-12 with a curriculum that combines academic and technical content and strong employability skills. Breithaupt is set to return to a world class career and technical education center with over $8 million to support programming and capital improvements over the next several years. With the full investment, Breithaupt expects to train 650 students a year.
DTE has provided full-time construction and curriculum project management at Breithaupt. Volunteers from DTE, DeMaria and many other businesses have helped with demolition, construction and landscaping. Equipment and supplies have also been donated to create an industry-recognized instruction and learning environment.
DeMaria is honored to continuously play a role in the revitalization of the trades program in Detroit Public Schools and gratefully looks forward to working with the next generation of skilled tradespeople in the Motor City.