StreetWise Partners’ Workforce Development Program Joins Forces

StreetWise Partners is a non-profit organization that has worked for 23 years to serve economically

vulnerable adults with critical mentorship to unlock careers historically unavailable to them. StreetWise Partners pairs volunteers with mentees who are unemployed or underemployed to provide them with the skills, resources and access to networks they need to secure and maintain employment. The one- year program provides 13 weeks of professional workshops followed by 9 months of ongoing coaching as mentees navigate the job search process. In addition to working on resumes, cover letters, and interview skills, StreetWise Partners solves a crucial job-search component: social capital. Even before COVID-19, some estimates suggested that up to 70% of all jobs are not published on publicly available job search sites, and research has long shown that up to 80% of jobs are filled through networking. In a place like Detroit, one of the countries most segregated cities, opportunities are available, but access is not. StreetWise Partners came to Detroit in 2019, seeking to close that gap, and ensure that legacy

Detroiter’s are able to fully participate in the city’s revitalization.

“At StreetWise, we see our role as a bridge between the private sector and the community. We have a track record of utilizing our program model to reduce the opportunity divide and look forward to continuing to build partnerships with corporations and community leaders to support a more inclusive Detroit.” – Shari Krull, Executive Director

StreetWise Partners has partnered with Henry Ford Health System, the fifth-largest employer in metro Detroit, and a long-time advocate for diverse hiring. Henry Ford Health System was initially set to host StreetWise’s in-person program for the Spring cycle. The relationship pivoted with the arrival of COVID-

19. Henry Ford Health System championed StreetWise Partners’ work, recruiting mentors for their 13 week program and volunteers for one-time events like speed networking and mock interview day. At a time when the healthcare industry is booming and eagerly seeking talent, this partnership exposes eager job seekers to industry insights, while providing Henry Ford Health System with a pipeline of diverse talent.

“The Streetwise Partner team smoothly and seamlessly found a way to modify the program [in response to COVID-19], change the dates, and maintain mentor and mentee enthusiasm and participation.

Numerous mentees and mentors from our company have remarked on the quality content, team professionalism and the opportunity Streetwise Partners has provided them to give back to the

community,” said AJ Evans Consultant – Employee Relations, Diversity, Workforce Diversity, Talent

Acquisition in the Office of Workforce Diversity.

With Henry Ford’s support, StreetWise Partners Detroit was able to graduate its second cohort of 30

mentees, who are already finding jobs, including at Henry Ford Health. StreetWise Partners mentee Dorcy Manyingu worked with his mentors to build his cover letter, resume, and interview skills, ultimately receieving an offer as a Specialist of Information. Dorcy said about StreetWise, “I had a great experience and am so grateful to my mentors and to StreetWise for helping me find this role.”

StreetWise Partners & Henry Ford Health System look forward to the program’s fall cycle, which kicked off at the beginning of September 2020. As one program launches, recruitment for the next program cycle begins. Applications for mentors and mentees for spring 2021 can be received, after one attends

an information session. Sign up for an information session by visiting StreetWisePartners.org.

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