Training program

Detroit launches Skills for Life Work / Training program


The City of Detroit launched Skills for Life, a work / training program designed to pay Detroit residents to learn new job skills and physically improve Detroit neighborhoods. // Stock photo

The city of Detroit on Wednesday launched a new Skills for Life work / training program designed to pay up to 2,200 Detroit residents to learn new job skills and remove barriers to employment while physically improving their lives. Detroit neighborhoods.

The three-year initiative, which will invest up to $ 75 million to improve the economic mobility of Detroit residents, is the first workforce program to be funded through the city’s allocation of 2021 funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

In October, the city launched the $ 30 million Detroit Renew Program, which is designed to help 1,500 Detroit seniors complete much-needed home repairs, including roof replacement using funds from the ARPA. Similar to Renew Detroit, Skills for Life is the result of an extensive series of community engagement meetings to identify ARPA spending priorities and city council approval.

Through Skills for Life, participating Detroiters will split their time between training and doing jobs to improve Detroit neighborhoods, such as cleaning up commercial corridors and run down properties. The first 1,200 participants will work for the city’s general service department and the remaining 1,000 positions will be in other city departments with similar manpower needs.

Targeted physical improvements include 7,000 trade corridor properties cleaned up, 1,500 trade corridor properties painted, 5,000 trees along trade corridors trimmed and 100 parks cleaned more frequently.

“Skills for Life builds on programs we already have in place and will be a major part of our strategy to reduce intergenerational poverty in our city,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Not only will participants receive a living wage to learn new skills, gain hands-on experience in the field, and earn their GED or diploma, they will significantly contribute to the beautification of our city. “

With those skills and qualifications under their belt, Detroit at Work will then help them target long-term, well-paying career paths that will give them access to the middle class, Duggan added.

A portion of the $ 75 million for Skills for Life will be used to purchase the equipment that participants will need to do their jobs in the neighborhoods, as well as for related expenses, such as the disposal of debris removed from the neighborhoods. the city.

“One of the things we hear the most from residents is that we need to do more to improve the cleanliness of our city, especially our parks and trade corridors,” said Brad Dick, director of the city. group for services and infrastructure. “Skills for Life gives us the ability to hire, train and pay Detroiters to do a lot of this work. Many of them will learn to use the types of equipment that provide them with high paying jobs and employment opportunities for years to come.

Program participants will work three days a week with the City of Detroit’s General Service Department, undertaking work focused on decontamination, grounds maintenance and other city beautification activities. The other two days per week, participants will participate in vocational training or study for high school diplomas or GEDs, as applicable.

“There is no industry more in demand today than the skilled trades, both locally and nationally,” says Dick. “Skills for Life participants will be offered training in skilled trades and others, as well as IT and other high-demand careers. Learn the skills and gain the experience and qualifications that employers in this sector are looking for, while providing an essential service for our city at this time.

Participants with childcare and transportation concerns will be assisted.

To apply for the program, go here and click on the Skills for Life banner.