The PLANT Program workforce development program

In partnership with Universal Contracting, Harlan Electric, and IBEW Local 17, the Public Lighting Authority Nurturing Talent, or PLANT program, is designed to encourage contractors to hire Detroit residents and train them for future careers in skilled trades and is a primer for an apprenticeship. In this pre-apprentice program, participants learn all aspects of work for streetlight maintenance across the city- from traffic control to shadowing the underground electrical, and high voltage work. Program participants also earn their CDL and complete the required OSHA certification – two critical steps for applying to become an apprentice with the union.

The PLANT program includes both on-the-job training, as well as formalized coursework, and takes place over the course of a year. It is expected that each participant will migrate to other opportunities after one year, thus allowing the program to grow into a continuous pipeline. Training will take place during the workday, and the program is Earn to Learn, meaning participants will be paid, similar to apprenticeships – anywhere from $18 to $26 an hour, based on experience. Each year, the PLANT program seeks to include at least ten participants who live in Detroit.


For more information on the program, please send your resume to De’Andre Brooks PLA’s Director of Government and Community Relations at