Dino Vann Jr. made some mistakes in his twenties eventually finding himself incarcerated.
Mitch: And when you came out what did you find was the attitude towards you?
Dino Vann Jr.: Oh oh its no you’re not getting hired
After countless rejections, someone told Dino about the Work Keys exam, which could open the door to a job in the skilled trades.
Dino: He was given the opportunity but he couldn’t pass the test so he told me, “You know, Dino, I know you are a smart guy. You go here.” He gave me the address of where to go and I passed the test.
Dino began his new career as an Iron Worker. He soon realized he had the skills to help others so he started STEAP – The Skilled Trades Enrollment Assistance Program – a FREE 12 week training program for underserved and returning citizens looking to pass the skilled trades exam. Friends like Marcus Strong helped get it off the ground.
Marcus Strong: The Work Keys test is the national database that gives you a score about your aptitude how your performance or skill set may be in the skilled trades. And we have consistently turned out the highest test scores in the state.
Mitch: And these are all people who want to work and right now probably can’t pass that test but with your help can pass the test.
Dino: We want not only the employers but the people out there to know to come to us if they have criminal backgrounds so we can prepare them to go into these trades.
Marcus: We continually work with that graduate because we are going to be pushing them to be the best that they can be and they are always welcome free of charge to come and learn more.
Opening their doors to a brighter future, Dino Vann Jr., Marcus Strong and STEAP are breaking down barriers to employment right here in the heart of Detroit.