Adrienne Bennett, Michigan’s First Female Plumber, Working on Michigan Central Station Restoration
Adrienne Bennett has at least two honorable distinctions under her toolbelt: She’s the first woman in the history of the state of Michigan to complete a plumbing apprenticeship program, and she’s the first Black woman in American history to earn licenses as a Master Plumber, Plumbing Contractor, Plumbing Inspector, and Certified Medical Gas Inspector and Installer. This history-maker is now in a position to help Ford make history: As a member of Benkari LLC, she will help Ford Motor Company in its ongoing revitalization of Michigan Central Station.
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“I’ve always been awestruck by the train station,” Bennett said. “It’s an honor to be involved in its restoration and play a part in bringing it back to life.”
Bennett is the president and CEO of Benkari, a leading construction and maintenance business in Detroit. Ford hired Benkari as its plumbing contractor last year as part of its project to refurbish and restore its newly acquired Michigan Central Station ahead of becoming the headquarters for a new, Corktown-based campus.
This isn’t the first time that Bennett has worked on a Detroit landmark. She previous helped build the Millender Center apartments and Little Caesars Arena, expand the Henry Ford Hospital, restore the Theodore Levin Federal Courthouse and Fox Theatre. She sees a symmetry to her latest job as the depot was one of the first sights she beheld in Detroit after her family moved from Chicago as a child.
“It used to serve millions of people and was then thrown away,” she said. “And now it’s being restored. It’s a blessing for the city.”
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