Employment to Reduce Poverty

There are countless causes of poverty – a changing economy, poor education, destabilized fami­lies, illiteracy and social injustice, to name just a few. Poverty, espe­cially among minorities, is a deeply entrenched and complex problem that no single policy, administra­tion, organization or program can solve. However, many public and private organizations throughout Detroit, including the DEGC, are working to address the systemic causes of poverty and find solu­tions.

The DEGC believes that pro­viding accessible employment, especially to mi­norities, is an important step. In the last three years, the DEGC has helped facili­tate the creation of more than 23,000 new jobs throughout De­troit, with nearly 5,000 of those coming from the 2019 FCA project alone. These jobs have been created intentional­ly, considering the skills, abilities and interests of the City’s current and future population. Wherever there is an opportunity to priori­tize Detroiters for jobs, or multiply employment using the local work­force, we do our very best to make it happen.

Many of our partners are work­ing to increase the employability of Detroiters. This includes education and vocational training, expunging non-violent criminal records, and helping returning citizens back into the workforce. Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, Entrepreneurs of Color and Motor City Match are excellent programs borne from private and public collaborations, funded with public and philan­thropic dollars, targeted at giving our homegrown talent access to success.

Thanks to Detroit at Work and Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Detroit’s labor market is also becoming more efficient, matching job seekers to jobs and related training. The DEGC is help­ing Detroit businesses build capac­ity, grow revenue and increase their workforce. We’re also working with the City, TCF Bank, DTE and others to develop a new procurement pro­gram that provides a similar service for Detroit’s minority suppliers and service providers.

We must move with a sense of urgency to address all of the issues that separate people from work, even potential roadblocks like transportation and affordable child­care. Detroiters are not looking for a free ride, only a helping hand. Just look at Benita Taylor, a re­cent graduate of Dymond Designs Beauty School in Harbortown Cen­ter. Taylor received a scholarship to attend the school, received her certificate with the first graduating class, and was offered a job at Dymond Designs Studio and Salon. Marlene Brooks, owner of both Dy­mond businesses, won a $65,000 cash award from Motor City Match to open the beauty school. She is on a mission to develop minority entrepreneurs and build Detroit’s neighborhoods. There are count­less others like Benita and Marlene who are committed to ending the cycle of poverty for themselves and others. It is our job to provide them the tools and pave the way.

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