November 2018 – Bill Kubota for Detroit Public Television’s One Detroit

“It’s about high tech and its skills our youth can master,” said Rev. Jesse Jackson in a recent visit to Detroit to announce a collaboration with his Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Wayne County Community College District as they plan a new program to train more autonomous transportation technology workers, but with an eye on diversity.

Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project director, John Graves, said classwork at WCCCD would lead to a two-year degree that could track to a four-year program.

“They have 70,000 students on seven campuses,” Graves said, “and what we’ll provide is certification to work in the autonomous industry.”

Ford Motor Company plans to spend hundreds of millions to turn the abandoned Detroit train station into a center for new transportation ventures.

“We’re in the right place at the right time,” Wayne County Community College District Chancellor Dr. Curtis Ivery said, speaking to Stephen Henderson of American Black Journal airing earlier this month on Detroit Public Television.

Ivery said WCCCD is probably one of the most diverse schools in the country and graduates more minority students than any college nationwide.

“We can be responsive to the extent other institutions can’t be,” said Ivery, whose WCCCD represents both urban and suburban communities.

He said WCCCD has to be willing to talk to employers about what their hiring needs will be in the future.

Jackson said to expect a more detailed announcement soon, but the program will be a model for other institutions and carmakers nationwide.

“It’s not just GM, Ford and Chrysler,” Jackson said. “It’s Toyota in Texas and Mississippi, it’s BMW in South Carolina; it’s all across the country now.”

See highlights from the announcement made at the Global Automotive Summit on November 2, 2018 in Detroit from Rev. Jesse Jackson and John Graves from Rainbow PUSH:

See the interview with Wayne County Community College District Chancellor Curtis Ivery with Detroit Public Television’s Stephen Henderson that originally aired November 9, 2018:

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