Southfield (CBS Detroit) – As the pandemic winds down, an offshoot has been a growing jobs gap particularly in the skilled trades, which is why CBS 62’s “Michigan Matters” is taking a look this Sunday at 7:30 a.m. at one unique program to train more tree trimmers.

Michigan Matters Host Carol Cain, with Jerry Norcia, President/CEO of DTE Energy

With most power outages caused by trees hitting power lines, DTE Energy President & CEO Jerry Norcia is working with the city of Detroit, Focus: HOPE, and IBEW Local 17 as they recently started the new Tree Trimming Academy to train  Detroiters for these much-in-demand jobs.

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Norcia talked with Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain about the perpetual shortage of tree trimmers not only in Michigan but across the country.

The Academy opened in April and a June 3 press conference held with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and others involved to talk about the six-week program – which hopes to train 200 people in its first year.

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Michigan Matters Host Carol Cain, with Jerry Norcia, President/CEO of DTE Energy; Nicole Sherard-Freeman
Group Exec. of Jobs, Economy, Detroit at Work; Portia Roberson, CEO, Focus: HOPE; and James Shaw
Business Mgr., IBEW Local 17

Also appearing on this “Michigan Matters” episode to discuss  their role in the new program is: Nicole Sherard-Freeman, Group Executive of Detroit’s Jobs, Economy and Detroit At Work Teams, Portia Roberson, CEO of Focus: HOPE , and Jamie Shaw, Business Manager of IBEW Local 17. IBEW has  trained tree trimmers for 130 years and is doing so at the new academy.

Sherard-Freeman, Roberson & Shaw discussed the current jobs picture, how they are helping to connect people and companies, and the road ahead in the skilled trades in particular.

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Watch Michigan Matters, Sunday at 7:30am on CBS 62