BYI Workforce Development Initiative

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BYI Workforce Development Initiative

Providing Exposure and Opportunities for Skilled Trades Training A program of the


“Our BYI Workforce Development Initiative is committed to helping Detroit in rebuilding Detroit one house, one block, and one neighborhood at a time.” Dave Bing Founder & CEO, Bing Youth Institute

About the Bing Youth Institute Workforce Development Initiative: After leaving office, former Detroit mayor, entrepreneur, and Detroit Piston Dave Bing founded the Bing Youth Institute in 2014 to continue the legacy of a strong and thriving Detroit by engaging with and helping the city’s youth—particularly those who identify as African-American boys and young men. Through our school-based mentoring program, BINGO, we’ve spent nearly a decade debunking the stereotypes and stigmatization of Black males and helping our mentees develop into responsible young men full of passion, purpose, and perseverance. In 2020, when schools closed due to the global coronavirus pandemic, we were presented with an opportunity to explore options beyond higher education for our mentees. We began strategizing for another program that would expose our young men to the skilled trades. With pilot funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, BYI we began the Workforce Development Initiative. We considered the findings from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which recognized that changing the Labor Market Prospects for workers from historically excluded communities would require strategies that cut across job training, education, human services, and economic development systems. It is the goal of our Workforce Development Initiative to create opportunities and conditions where our trainees’ success is both attainable and sustainable. Specifically, our Workforce Development Initiative is designed to provide young African American young men access to career opportunities in the skilled trades. We do this by connecting them with skilled trades professionals, who own their own businesses. They provide the young men with hands-on job training, mentoring, and skilled trades training. Our Initiative has a series of unique collaborations with Detroit area Blackowned businesses in the skilled trades. These partnerships support the premise that small business owners are vital to the economic mobility and viability of communities. In 2023, BYI became an official vendor in Detroit’s Housing Demolition and Rehabilitation Program. As a result, we will instruct a minimum of 25 trainees annually and provide employment opportunities for each of them through both our small business collaborative partnerships and our official vendor relationship with the city and the rehabbing some 100,000-plus vacant homes. The following pages are a peek into the WDI program.

Dave Bing Founder & CEO, Bing Youth Institute

Robert Warfield Chief Operating Officer, Bing Youth Institute

BYI Workforce Development Initiative

Painting Curriculum The BYI curricula provides an exposure to, and a basic understanding of the skills requred to perform select skilled trades jobs. This currriuclum focuses on both the unique techniques required for professional painting and also the proper preparation of all surfaces prior to paint application.


Course Overview and Training Process

COVID-19 Safety Precautions, Policies and Procedures

Skilled Trade Training Schedule and Trainee Expectations


Follow all safety procedures and techniques including lifting, climbing and use of electrical tools Provide and perform basic standardized safety procedures; direct residential and industrial painting skills and safety procedures Comply with prescribed safety procedures or federal laws regulating waste disposal methods


Conduct surface preparation

Blend and match paint; coat various

surfaces requiring fine finishes and decorative effects •

Application of putty, primers, stop rust, and caulks

Prepare surface for rolling or spray painting; application of special coatings onto concrete surfaces

Application of paints


Assist in prep work, painting, cleanup, and maintaining painting equipment

Use power tools and painting equipment

Maintain painting equipment and supplies

Clean and maintain all painting equipment and work areas by adopting a clean-as-yougo policy



Assist with drywall repairs and light carpentry; paint various residential and commercial locations; learn about ladder and height safety Perform drywall repairs in residential and commercial properties; learn about disposal of residential and commercial waste Perform drywall repair and installation

Perform various prep methods on walls and structures, such as sanding, power washing or sandblasting

Smooth surfaces using sandpaper and brushes; remove old paint from surfaces using paint remover

Prepare surfaces for painting by grinding, pressure washing, and sanding

Operate spray equipment, air-powered painting pumps and other power tools

Prepare surfaces by scraping, wire brushing and sanding to a smooth finish

Perform a variety of tasks, including sanding walls, basing, and casing

Caulk trim, fill nail holes, and sand everything before painting

Clean and prep areas for paint, including sanding and power washing

BYI Workforce Development Initiative

Drywall Curriculum The install and repair of surfaces for painting are the primary focus of our Drywall Curriculum. Understanding the proper techniques of measuring, repairing, and installing drywall, among other associated skills are key components.


Learn how to measure drywall to cut for job specifics

Use tools associated with measuring and cutting drywall professionally

Assist with drywall installation using drywall screws, and various methods

Learn how to properly use a tape measure to ensure proper drywall size is used


Course Overview and Training Process

COVID-19 Safety Precautions, Policies & Procedures

Skilled Trade Training Schedule and Trainee Expectations


Discuss different types of mud/joint compound; what the uses are and when to use them

Follow all safety procedures and techniques including lifting, climbing, and use of electrical tools

Learn how to properly mix mud/joint compound to get the desired texture needed for optimal usage

Provide and perform basic standardized safety procedures for both residential and industrial properties

Understand the various tools used to mix joint compound

Learn the various types of drywall tape and


Comply with prescribed safety procedures or federal laws regulating waste disposal methods

the different usages and qualities •

Understand the different types and sizes of mudding knives, and their various usages

Perform the application of mud/joint compound to drywall seams, cracks, and repairs


Perform various sanding methods such as dry and wet sanding

Determine which grade of sand paper to use and why

Smooth surfaces using sand paper, sanding bricks, orbital sanders, and sanding poles

Assist and perform drywall sanding techniques with power and hand tools

Understand sanding techniques to repair cracks, and gouges in drywall

Perform surface quality check through various methods


Perform drywall repairs in residential and commercial properties; learn about disposal of residential and commercial waste

Learn and assist with different drywall repair methods including various patching techniques

Perform and assist with proper measuring techniques to ensure correct drywall sizes are used for patching and hole repairs

BYI Workforce Development Initiative

Electrical Curriculum The BYI Electrical Training Curriculum provides a basic understanding of the knowledge and skills necessary to perform work on residential electrical systems. The curriculum focuses on electrical safety, use of appropriate tools and equipment, wiring, troubleshooting and maintenance. Depending on the depth and duration of the course, additional modules may be added to cover more advanced topics such as electrical upgrades, energy-efficient lighting, smart homes systems, and commercial systems.


Course Overview and Training Process

Overview of residential electrical systems

Basic electrical components and their functions

Common electrical terminology

Introduction to electrical codes and regulations


Understanding electrical hazards

Use of personal protective equipment

Safety measures for working with electricity

Understanding electrical tests and measurements

Proper grounding and bonding techniques

Proper usage and maintenance of electrical tools and equipment



Overview of essential electrical tools and equipment

Types of wiring materials and their applications

Proper wire sizing and voltage considerations

Understanding electrical symbols and diagrams

Step-by-step guide to residential wiring


Installing electrical outlets and switches

Connecting light fixtures and ceiling fans

Identifying common residential electrical problems

Wiring kitchen and bathroom circuits

Troubleshooting techniques and tools

Repairing and replacing faulty electrical components

Routine maintenance of residential electrical systems


Introduction to Electrical Panels

Proper installation of circuit breakers and fuses

Connecting circuits to the main electrical panel

“This opportunity has given me the feeling that I can do anything I put my mind to.” Jacinto, Workforce Development Initiative trainee

“We have to find ways to reach our young men where they are, and support them in getting to where they want to go, by providing them with marketable skills and real options.” Robert Warfield Chief Operating Officer, Bing Youth Institute

BYI Workforce Development Initiative

Landscaping Curriculum Safety procedures and proper use and maintenance of applicable equipment are the focus of this curriculum.

Inspect all tools and machinery before use

Ensure working area is suitable and prepared for landscaping before using tools or machinery

Properly dispose of all debris and waste



Course Overview and Training Process

Skill Trade Training Schedule and Trainee Expectations

Properly clean, maintain, and store equipment to prevent damage

Distinguish between appropriate use of tools such as trowel, shears, shovel, and spade

Properly apply safety equipment such as goggles, gloves, and masks

Determine which electric and gas­powered machinery would be most appropriate for the task

Apply pesticides and/or fertilizer using proper equipment to prevent direct bodily contact


Review and implement safety procedures when using tools and machinery Comply with outlined use and techniques regarding safety equipment

“This program gave me hope and the opportunity to learn skills I can use the rest of my life.” Kendall, Workforce Development Initiative trainee

Expert Training from the Community Owen Schaffner is proprietor of Quasar Light Maintenance Solutions LLC, established in 2018. Not one to turn down an opportunity because he didn’t “know how to do it, yet,” Owen transitioned Quasar from a maintenance and power and soft washing operations to a company that now services residential and commercial painting. He pays tribute for his vision to recognize a business in all things to a mentor who said to him, “Anything you see in the world is created in the mind.”

Owen Schaffner

Owner, Quasar Light Maintenance Solutions LLC

In this role with BYI, Owen gets to do what he enjoys most, “teaching and training.” Born and raised in Detroit, Owen believes one can create a life they’ll enjoy so they don’t have to run away from it.

Juan Walker is owner and operator of Sway Services, LLC, an outdoor property maintenance company he established as a teen with friends. One of his entrepreneurial goals is to demonstrate to young African American boys and men that you can make money doing positive things. There weren’t many African American-owned landscaping companies in the area, especially with a young, all African American team, so Juan decided to be one of, if not the first.

Juan Walker

Owner, Sway Services LLC

Juan is an excellent example of young entrepreneurship for our BYI trainees.

For more than 30 years, Tyrone Pritchett has been a skilled trade electrician, whose work also includes carpentry and drywalling. As a young man, he says, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, but learned the electrical trade from his father. Over the years he’s found joy in what he does, and being his own boss-making sure he always gets the job done right. “If you’re not going to do it right, don’t do it at all,” is his motto.

Tyrone Pritchett

Electrician, Drywaller, Carpenter

At this stage in his career he is enthusiastic about passing along his three decades of experience on to the next generation. Tyrone’s calm, yet challenging approach is a perfect fit for BYI.

James Thomas, owner and operator of Royal Recycle Waste Removal, established the dumpster rental service in 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. As a contractor, James grew weary of the exorbitant prices of dumpster rentals and decided to start his own business to offer “the best and most affordable” dumpster rentals in the metro-Detroit and the Tri-County areas.

James Thomas

Owner, Royal Recycle Waste Removal LLC

He has acquired 20 dumpsters of various sizes and hundreds of customers. Our partnership with James is instrumental to our trash-out work with the City of Detroit.

“I never felt so proud as when we were done and clearing up. The homeowners were happy.” Jalen, Workforce Development Initiative trainee

The Workforce Development Initiative connects students with skilled trades professionals who provide hands-on job training and mentoring. Trainees learn skills that will help them launch productive careers.

The Bing Youth Institute envisions a nation where African American boys and young men are celebrated and empowered to reach their full potential. We exist to inspire and nurture our mentees and trainees to grow emotionally, socially, educationally, professionally, and entrepreneurially; and to introduce them to experiences and opportunities beyond their neighborhoods and schools.


BYI Workforce Development Initiative

Bing Youth Institute 151 W Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48226 Phone: 313.717.2810 Email: info@bingyouthinstitute Partnership inquiries: partners@bingyouthinstitute Media inquiries:

Updated October 2023

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