Before the Covid crisis, Demetrius Graham had a landscaping business in Detroit. It was doing so well that he was able to employ a few of his relatives. Pandemic restrictions halted Demetrius’ business, but he also took it as a sign that it was time to pursue a different career that he had considered for a long time.
“My grandfather was a truck driver and I remember going with him in his rig when I was younger,” said Demetrius, 36. “I enjoyed it and thought I’d like do this myself one day.”
Demetrius looked at the Detroit at Work website for training and employment opportunities. After signing up last August, he was referred to the Southwest Solutions’ Detroit at Work Career Center. Because of the pandemic, Demetrius interacted virtually with our Career Center staff to receive his orientation, personalized career advising, support services, and job training referrals. Demetrius worked primarily with Career Coach Thalia Rivera.
“I’m very satisfied and grateful about the help I got at Center to get me on the path I wanted,” Demetrius said.
Last fall, Demetrius capitalized on the training referral and enrolled for free in the U.S. Truck Driving Training School to obtain his Class A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). Demetrius completed the work readiness part of the program virtually, and overcame some nervousness about handling a tractor-trailer to excel in the hands-on training. He then passed the state exam on his first try.
At the start of new year, Demetrius got a job with Universal Logistics Holdings. He has been working full-time delivering parts to local Fiat Chrysler plants.
“Everything has been going good so far and I’m gaining valuable experience,” Demetrius said. “I’m an entrepreneur at heart and my goal is to use all that I’m learning to start my own little trucking business in the future.”
Detroit at Work provides access to job opportunities and training in many different fields for eligible Detroiters. Please visit its website to learn more. Our Detroit At Work Career Center is located at 2835 Bagley (second floor of the Michigan Welcome Center), Detroit 48216. To reach us by phone, call 313-962-9675 and ask for the Bagley Career Center.