Black Caucus Foundation and Industry Leaders Ignite Interest in Construction Trades Among 800+ Detroit Students at the 13th Annual Expo

Over 800 curious and determined students from Detroit Public Schools and nearby districts recently got a firsthand look into engineering and skilled trades at the 13th Detroit Construction Science Expo. Hosted at the Durfee Innovation Society by the Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan, this annual event united passionate industry leaders and lawmakers to illuminate career opportunities for the next generation of builders and innovators.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Rep. Kimberly Edwards, and Rep. Donavan McKinney were among the prominent lawmakers engaging with students. They shared inspiration, spoke about the diverse paths available in the trades, and marveled at the students’ enthusiastic participation in interactive activities. Here, young minds could pilot drones, design intricate structures, and master heavy machinery like excavators and cranes, all under the mentorship of over 60 industry experts.

For over a decade, this Expo has woven a legacy of empowerment and practical knowledge into the fabric of Detroit, reaching into Lansing last fall to spread its message of opportunity even further. Doug Needham, President of the Construction Science Expo, articulated the urgent need for more skilled workers: “The need continues to grow. We need individuals actually doing the work and design. This industry is vibrant and desperately needs people, and today’s students are the future construction personnel.”

KB Stallworth, Chairman of the Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan, highlighted the powerful potential of these careers: “One of the toughest things for us is helping parents see that their student can pursue higher education, earn while they learn, and gain a valuable craft with no debt. It’s college without the debt—you really can’t beat it.”

The Expo, which has reached over 10,000 students since its inception, continues to offer unparalleled insight into the skilled trades. It provides students immediate access to career pathways in engineering and construction through the unwavering support of businesses, associations, and unions. Key sponsors like the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Cadillac Asphalt, Laborers International Union of North America, Operating Engineers 324, and others ensure this program’s ongoing success.

After energizing Detroit’s students, the Construction Science Expo will head back to Lansing on October 1st to inspire another wave of budding builders and innovators. The event promises more opportunities for hands-on learning and a chance to envision a future that builds not only structures but also prosperous careers.


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