(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 4, 2015)
What do you want to be when you grow up?
This is a question that can be perplexing for young people, especially when they don’t know that there are many options out there for them. That’s why the Clarence E. Philips Ascend Foundation brought together over 50 businesses and organizations to pack the gym of Pontiac High School on Dec 2 for the first ever Trades University Career Planning Fair.
The event was mandatory for students in 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12 grade, with even more students being bused in from Oakland School’s OTECH campuses
“This is us as an organization understanding the importance of throwing all career paths and options on the table for our children to help them be successful,” said Ascend Foundation President Kaino Phillips. “Time and time again, we keep telling our children what we want them to be. This is us listening to them and opening up the relationships that will help ensure that they make a phenomenal living for themselves. This is huge for them.”
Tables were full of men and women ready to talk to the young people about their jobs, displays showing what various kinds of work is like, and even hands on activities.
The following helped make the day special for the 1,300 teens who attended:
AGC of Michigan Trade Association
Ginasis Construction and Design
Raise Them Up
Operative Plasters & Cement Masons Local 514
International Masonry Institute (Brick Layers)
George W. Auch Company
Sheet Metal Workers Local 80
MIAT College of Technology
Northwest Technological Institute
Competitive Heating & Cooling
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
Operating Engineers IUOE 324
Heat and Frost Insulators 25
Operation Plasters and Cement Masons Local 514 (Group 2)
Waterford Township Fire Department
Clarence E. Phillips Ascend Foundation
Nikki Taylor (Event Planner)
Danielle McBride (Registered Nurse)
Teresa Moore (Life Coach)
Detroit Training Center
Coco Moulder (Massage Therapist)
MUST Construction Careers
Michigan Builders & Construction Trades
Oakland County Construction Trades
ITT Technological Institute
Art Institute of Michigan
Oakland County Sheriff Department
Pontiac Promise Zone
Detroit School of Carpentry
Detroit Electrical Industry Training Center
Michigan Barber School
Regency School of Beauty
Michigan Builders & Construction Trades, Oakland County Construction Trades, Pontiac School District and Oakland Schools also went above and beyond to bring the event together, Phillips said.
According to their website, “The Ascend Foundation was founded on behalf of the Late Mayor of Pontiac and Michigan State House of Representative Clarence Phillips. It is an organization that has been in existence for numerous years dating back to the late 1990’s. The organization started as a vision of correlation between Mayor Phillips and his wife Lorene’s push to promote the power of education, community service and the arts within the community; coupled with the mentoring element that their son Kaino Phillips embodied daily through motivational speaking and his leadership roles while participating in various organizations. It was this ideology that served as the catalyst in providing the inertia that became the very genesis of this organization.” Learn more at http://theascendfoundation.org/.