Officials reveal plans for Freedom Hill workforce monument

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published August 19, 2015

 CEO Tom Celani, of Hillside LLC,speaks during an event that introduced a monument dedicated to the working class at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre on Aug. 11.

CEO Tom Celani, of Hillside LLC,speaks during an event that introduced a monument dedicated to the working class at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre on Aug. 11.

Photo by Sean Work

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Work will soon take place on a monument to local labor that will be completed by 2016 at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights.

At an Aug. 11 press conference, leadership from the amphitheater, Macomb County and DTE Energy gathered to discuss the proposed monument, which is known as the “Tribute to the American Workforce.”

Concept art shows the monument taking the form of a wall at the amphitheater’s main concourse area. The stone and metal monument will be designed to celebrate the contributions of the county’s and the state’s labor movements, officials said. Engravings on the monument are expected to feature the names of labor groups.

Infuz Ltd., of St. Clair, is credited with composing the design, and Roncelli Inc., of Sterling Heights, is the monument’s general contractor.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel praised the effort and training that goes into the craftsmanship that workers demonstrate on building projects throughout the county.

“A lot of people that actually come here to enjoy the entertainment that is going on here are people that are working-class people, and that’s what Macomb County is all about,” he said.

Sterling Heights Mayor Pro Tem Doug Skrzyniarz attended the event and said the monument is a way to remember the legacy of the local labor movement that helped build the Arsenal of Democracy in the 20th century.

“Most of our forefathers and foremothers came from Detroit and were some of the original workers in the Ford assembly plant and Chrysler assembly plant,” he said. “A lot of those folks moved out to Macomb County and built Macomb County.”

Tom Celani, CEO of Hillside LLC, which runs the amphitheater, said the project’s cost will be approximately $250,000. He said all kinds of trades will play a role in setting up the wall, including carpenters, pipe fitters and electrical workers.

“We are going to use every trade involved in this because we really, truly want it to be a union wall, and we want their hands in every aspect of this wall,” he said.

He said a patio area will be set up near the monument where people can congregate before or after concerts. He ended his address with an invitation for guests in attendance to sign a brick that will be used in the monument.

Learn more about Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway in Sterling Heights, by visiting www.freedomhill.net or by calling (586) 268-9700.

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