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Founded by Don Martin, the Welding Artisan Center plans to open its first location in Detroit in 2018. The center will provide career-ready training to returning veterans, job-shifting adults, formerly incarcerated, and at-risk teens, many of whom drop out of high school because they are not college-bound. The center re-engages students with training and mentorship, helping them find work, become an entrepreneur, or continue education at a community college or university.
Supporters include Focus: HOPE, Detroit Regional Chamber, MEDC Workforce Development Agency, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, SER Metro Detroit, U.S. Dept. of Labor Office of Apprenticeship, the American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation, and the Michigan Laborers' Training & Apprenticeship Institute.
Corporate donors include ITC Transco, Welding Concepts, Inc., and Next Generation Services Group, Inc.
With 35 years of welding experience, Don has learned that some of the most difficult to train students wind up being the most valuable employees. Don's passion is to match the trained worker with the most valuable job.
We are fortunate to have the support of a diverse group of talented and experienced leaders dedicated to the economic and social transformation of Detroit.
Board of Directors:
Bryan Barnhill, II, Chief Talent Officer, City of Detroit Mayor Duggan
Keith Cooley, former CEO, Focus: HOPE, retired GM Exec
Rich Hawkins, Director Economic Equity, New Detroit, Inc.
Dan Jankowski, Marketing & Corporate Affairs, ITC Holdings
Don Martin, Founder, Welding Artisan Center, Inc.
Karen Tyler-Ruiz, United Way, Detroit Regional Workforce Fund
Ray Roberts, Engineering and Welding (ret.), General Motors Corp.
Kimberly Watts, Dir. of Development, Henry Ford Learning Institute
Advisors, Supporters, and collaborators:
Hank Bodiya, Accepting Responsibility is Mandatory
Lynn Coleman, Director, Michigan Laborers' Training & Apprenticeship Institute
Susan Corey, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance
Nivek Monet, Detroit Artist and Welder
Jose Reyes, COO, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation
Janelle Robinson, Reentry Specialist, Michigan Dept. of Corrections
Glenn Stevens, VP, Detroit Regional Chamber
Ingrid Tighe, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency
Juan Whiting, Welding Teacher, Golightly Career and Tech Center
Sommer Woods, Director of External Relations, M-1 RAIL