Soaring to New Heights

Infusing diversity into the tree trimming teams who serve our customers by increasing energy reliability in our Michigan communities

“When a business need meets up with a community need, you have the rare opportunity to create magic.”

-Jerry Norcia, CEO, DTE Energy

DTE, in partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 17, launched two tree trimming programs to develop and train diverse, local talent with the career-readiness, safety training and tree trimming skills to meet the needs of maintaining safe, reliable energy service of which line clearance is an integral part

See how we are solving both business and community needs for the greater good.

Parnell Tree Trim Program

A first-of-its-kind partnership pairs returning citizens with an in-demand union career

“Providing our students with an in-demand skill offers a way to support themselves and their families once they leave Parnall and means they’ll be a lot less likely to return to prison.”

-James Son, instructor, DTE | IBEW Parnall Tree Trim program  

man in a bucket truck by a tree

See how we are supporting second chances.

Program Graduates


Job Offers to Graduates


of Graduates Remain Out of Prision

Tree Trim Academy

A Detroit-based tree trim training program grows and develops diverse local talent

Our graduates serve our communities by maintaining safe, reliable energy to work from home, charge their cars and care for their families

Dollars Combined Earning Potential of 2021 graduates

Tree Trim Academy offers a 7-week training program that equips graduates with the skills needed to move into IBEW Local 17’s apprenticeship program pipeline


1. Tree Trimming

• IBEW Local 17 is one of only two line clearance tree trimming programs nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor for safety

• Provides a robust, introductory course in urban utility arboriculture

• Includes training and soft skills instruction, providing students with a “leg up” when entering this career

2. Class-B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

• Holding a Class-B CDL allows students to drive commercial vehicles on Day 1

3. Career Prep

• Brings students up to date on current business platforms (Office 365) and digital best practices/protocols

• Modules on the importance of timeliness, responsiveness, proactive planning, time management

• Modules on money management, budgeting and savings


Upon graduation, students enter IBEW Local 17’s 2.5 year, 5,000 hour apprenticeship

Graduates in the Class of 2021


From Communities of Color


City of Detroit Residents


Are Women

Graduate from the LGBTQ+ community

man in a bucket truck by a tree

“We partnered with Focus: HOPE and Detroit at Work to increase diversity as historically, in this industry, there’s not been that. So we targeted Detroit and metro-Detroit to recruit eager, diverse talent to join our program.”

-Terrell Lockhart, DTE Tree Trimming training program manager  

See how we are impacting the community in which we live and serve.