Monthly Archives: October 2019

Detroit Students get a Hands-on Look at Skilled Trades

Detroit — Wearing safety glasses and ear muffles, Fantasia Jackson carefully held a nail gun and fired it into a large wood board during a demonstration Tuesday at the Sachse Construction Academy in Eastern Market.

As her fellow classmates from Northwestern High School took turns working with the nail gun some appeared more natural at it than others.

“You’ve got to push hard on it,” said Jackson, a 14-year-old sophomore.

More than 500 Detroit-area high school students gathered in Shed 3 in Eastern Market to participate in hands-on demonstrations with 35 skilled contractors Tuesday during the construction academy, which is in its fourth year. The contractors included construction trades involving masonry, tiling, and roofing.

For the first time this year, the event includes a skilled trades job fair for 18-to-25-year-olds.

The skilled trades industry faces a shortage of workers both nationally and locally as older workers retire. Events like the construction academy are designed to help spark interest in young people looking for a career, said Todd Sachse, CEO of Sachse Construction.

“Our industry needs skilled trades,” he said. “There’s just not enough. We can’t get our work done fast enough with enough skill as we need to be able to do. Selfishly, I want to encourage people. Selflessly, we believe that there’s a lot of opportunity for Detroit young men and women.

“College is not for everybody,” Sachse said. “Just because somebody doesn’t go to college doesn’t mean they can’t have a successful, vibrant, engaging career. The average electrician, the average plumber, the average carpenter makes more money than the average architect, so it is an incredible career and I think a lot of young men and women don’t realize that. Part of it is to expose them to that opportunity.”


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Semi-robotic Construction Techniques Debut at Great Lakes Naval Base


Clark Construction Group is debuting semi-robotic construction technology at Great Lakes Naval Base in Great Lakes, Illinois, just north of Chicago. Conducted in conjunction with their engineering partner, Construction Robotics, this is the first construction project in the country to deploy MULE (Material Unit Lift Enhancer) and SAM (Semi-Automated Mason) technology.

The machines—being used to construct a new, 166,000 square-foot barracks facility for enlisted military personnel at the Great Lakes Naval Base—display cutting-edge robotics innovation poised to change how masonry is approached. The two robotic technologies work in tandem to vastly improve safety, quality, and job site productivity in many ways.

MULE has the capability of lifting 135 pounds, with each 32-inch CMU block weighing roughly 70 pounds. The system also offers a fully modular design that can be configured multiple ways and easily moved around the job site. The SAM technology is capable of laying a brick every 7 to 10 seconds, employing unique programming that is also designed to allow the machine to lay bricks in complex patterns.

Clark is one of the nation’s leading providers of civil and building construction services, holding a long-standing tradition of leveraging innovative tools and technologies to improve its construction processes. This new semi-robotic technology ensures that Clark remains ahead of the curve when it comes to new construction technology.


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