Bank of America awards $1 million grant to Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation
Bank of America today announced that it has awarded a $1 million three-year grant to Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) for its Detroit at Work employment initiative, The People Plan. The People Plan is a focused strategy to ensure all Detroiters — especially Black and Brown residents — have a clear pathway to economic sustainability and employers have access to the talent they need to grow and thrive. The goals of the People Plan are to increase residential employment, reduce poverty and improve economic mobility.
“Bank of America is committed to driving economic opportunity and upward mobility to help put individuals on a path toward success,” said Matt Elliott, President, Bank of America Michigan. “The People Plan will work to improve employer access to the talent within the City of Detroit so both business and residents can thrive.”
In Detroit, more than one third of working age residents have been persistently disconnected from the labor force, which is the highest rate in the nation. Additionally, more than 22,000 young adults are not in school or work, and less than 1 in 4 Detroiters age 25 and over have a post-secondary degree. While Black and white residents of Detroit are equally likely to be in the labor force, Black residents are more than twice as likely to be unemployed. Furthermore, just getting a job is often not enough to move out of poverty, especially since those who work in Detroit are less likely to work full-time, full-year jobs as compared to national averages.
The Bank’s $1 million grant will support key initiatives in The People Plan, which include: Detroit at Work Job Training, which encompasses several evidence programs that are designed to help those with a limited work history such as residents functioning at a lower literacy level, returning citizens and individuals on public assistance and/or facing poverty; Learn to Earn, which includes weekly stipends to participants pursuing high school diploma or GED attainment for up to six months and provides intake and academic assessment, career exploration and coaching, essential skill building, supportive services and job placement; and The Friends and Family Choices Program that provides high-touch employment and wrap-around support for residents directly or indirectly involved in gun violence.
“The People Plan is essential to uplifting Detroit residents who might otherwise not know how to take part in all the programs available,” said Nicole Sherard-Freeman, City of Detroit, Group Executive - Jobs, Economy & Detroit at Work. “When simply making it from day to day is a struggle, many people don’t have the time or resources to investigate or access the help that is available. The People Plan brings resources to the table so those most at risk get immediate access to the help they need.”
DESC is a nonprofit organization organized to carry out the Detroit workforce area’s strategic plan, goals and objectives of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board as the fiscal and administrative agent for workforce. DESC is the lead agency for “Detroit at Work” which provides job placement, search, training, career advisement and other supportive services to tens of thousands of Detroiters every year.
Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) is the administrative and fiscal agent for workforce solutions for the City of Detroit, which means it is responsible for assisting Detroit employers with finding employees and jobseekers with finding jobs. DESC was formed as a non-profit on July 1, 2012. It is a part of the Michigan Works! Association and is one of 25 Michigan Works! Agencies located around the state. Like other Michigan Works! agencies, DESC receives the majority of its funding from the federal government. These funds can only be spent on programs and initiatives for which they are intended, and that are consistent with Office of Management and Budget guidelines. DESC reports to the Detroit Workforce Development Board, which is established by the Mayor of Detroit. For more information, visit www.descmiworks.com.
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Diane Wagner, Bank of America