In-Demand Jobs in Detroit    

There is a lot of movement in the city with job offerings and with there being a surplus of work by the thousands, but is there a gap between job competency and job availability?   

If so, the city is making up the difference by finding new inroads to bring people on board big time.    

Mayor Mike Duggan recently created a new role designed to coordinate neighborhood commercial corridor revitalization efforts  with Amanda Elias appointed to the newly-created role of Deputy Group Executive for Neighborhood Economic Development within the administration’s Jobs and Economy Team (JET).   

The Mayor’s ongoing plan to enhance neighborhoods by reviving their business corridors is strengthened by the creation of the new position. New streetscapes, targeted commercial investment, the assistance of small companies through initiatives like Motor City Match and most recently the start of a commercial corridor blight blitz have all been part of the commercial corridor strategy in recent years.  

“Over the past few years, we have begun to see a resurgence along some of our commercial corridors like Livernois, Grand River and Kercheval, and Amanda’s role is going to be to build on that success and bring it to more neighborhoods,” said Mayor Duggan. “Amanda has been incredibly effective working with residents, developers and funding partners, and we’re excited for her to bring her energy to neighborhood-level opportunities.”    

In her new role, Elias and her team will work to unify and coordinate city departments to make it easier for developers to bring new retail and mixed-use, mixed-income developments to the city’s neighborhood commercial corridors.    

“There are a lot of ways city departments are working to improve our neighborhood corridors and we plan to bring all of those efforts together into one central strategy and approach,” said Elias. “We also plan to make sure every vacant lot and building has a plan that nearby residents support.”    

Elias’ new role is one of many jobs available in the city primed for interested residents looking for a better future and a new career.    

“No matter what kind of future you imagine for yourself, there’s only one way to prepare for it: build your skills,” said Nicole Sherard-Freeman, group executive of Jobs, Economy & Detroit at Work, previously. “Whether you want a future in one of Detroit’s fastest growing industries like manufacturing, construction, healthcare or customer service, or you want to make the small business dream you have a reality, the economy is changing. We’re all going to need more skills than we have now to create the future we want.”    

There are many jobs available in the city, and that’s only the beginning, Sherard-Freeman previously told the Michigan Chronicle.  

Detroit At Work is a city initiative focused on preparing job seekers in Detroit to connect with prospective employers, from small micro-businesses to corporations.     

Sherard-Freeman said roughly half of the residents in Detroit are working for small businesses and investing in this sector is a vital part of the city’s continued economic growth and neighborhood economic development strategies.     

“There is no shortage of opportunities for Detroiters,” said Sherard-Freeman previously. “One of the measures of success or progress is resident employment.”    

The city is also using $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to help Detroiters prepare for good-paying jobs and start new careers.  

“There is a job available today for every Detroiter who wants to work and half of them do not require a college education,” said Duggan. “Thanks to President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, we have $100 million in adult scholarships that can help Detroiters who may have been unemployed for more than six months, or who want to be trained for a good paying job in a new industry, access those opportunities.”   

The $100 million in scholarships are available across the following five categories, which are designed to support individuals, no matter where they are in their career path:   

  1. Learn to Earn Scholarships. Residents who currently read below the 8th-grade level can get paid $10 per hour up to 20 hours per week ($800 per month) to improve their reading skills. Hours are flexible and are available on nights and weekends, as well as in person and online. Students typically raise their reading skills by 2 grades over 14 weeks. Residents unemployed for the past six months also are eligible for another $300 Jump Start scholarship per month.   
  1. High School Diploma Scholarships. Any Detroiter who was scheduled to graduate in 2018 or earlier can get paid $10 per hour for up to 20 hours per week ($800 per month) to earn their diploma or GED. This can help open the door to many good-paying jobs that have a high school educational requirement. Hours are flexible and are available on nights and weekends, as well as in person and online. More than 100 diploma scholars already have graduated! Residents unemployed for the past six months also are eligible for another $300 Jump Start scholarship per month.   
  1. Skills for Life Scholarships. Get hired by the city and paid $15 per hour for three days of work per week and two days of class time. Job opportunities include Park Ambassador, Neighborhood Cleanup, and Door to Door Outreach. Classroom work includes training opportunities in a range of careers, including Truck Driver (CDL), Heavy Equipment Operator, Information Technology, Skilled Trades and Healthcare positions. These careers have starting pay ranging from $17-$25 per hour. Today, the city has more than 200 Skills for Live scholars being paid full-time for work and training. Training lasts from three months to one year, depending on the field.   
  1. Fifty Different Career Training Scholarships. The City offers 20 paid and 30 unpaid training programs, offered at no cost to the participants. Training programs are offered across a series of in-demand professions, including health care, information technology, hospitality, trucking and logistics, skilled trades and more. Each training program is detailed in a new Detroit at Work career guide, available at   

Information and assistance also is available at nine Detroit at Work Centers across the city:   

  • 24424 W. McNichols    
  • 18100 Meyers   
  • 14117 E .Seven Mile   
  • 18017 E. Warren   
  • 5901 Conner   
  • 2470 Collingwood   
  • 2835 Bagley   
  • 9301 Michigan Ave   
  • 16427 W. Warren   

Jump Start Scholarships’ enrollment is available for this new program offered to any Detroiter who has been unemployed for at least the past six months. The program is a partnership between the Duggan administration and City Council, including program sponsors on City Council, Coleman Young II and Mary Waters. Scholarships are for the Learn to Earn and High School Degree programs, and any part-time training. Between paid income and stipends for living expenses, the program pays an equivalent of nearly $20 per hour, which is considered a living wage. Last week, Mayor Duggan announced 18 community partner organizations that will directly engage with long-term unemployed residents to get them connected to these programs and provide mentorship along the way.   

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