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City, DESC to use $1M from workforce training fund to help lift residents out of poverty through job skills training

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City, DESC to use $1M from workforce training fund to help lift residents out of poverty through job skills training 

  • RFP issued today seeks local partners to provide training for Detroiters
  • City to provide grants between $50,000 and $100,000 for up to twenty partners
  • Program to focus on residents receiving food assistance, most likely living in poverty
  • Grant funds available as a result of Executive Order 2016-1 compliance efforts


Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) and the City of Detroit are seeking partners to provide employment and training services to low-income Detroit residents who are enrolled in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).   DESC, in partnership with the City of Detroit and Mayor Mike Duggan’s Workforce Development

Board, will provide grants between $50,000 and $100,000 to up to twenty partners to provide training services including literacy skills, soft skills and vocational training, aiming to connect SNAP recipients to in demand jobs.   

The ultimate goal of the program is to help lift these residents out of poverty – and off of SNAP assistance – by getting them into long-term employment.  Employment is one of the best ways to move people off of nutrition assistance, and there are currently 270,000 people in the City of Detroit who receive food assistance — 160,000 of whom are working age.

The grants will leverage and expand access to employment related services for federal food assistance recipients with a goal of helping them secure jobs.

“Using these funds to partner with community-based organizations will help hundreds of Detroiters connect to jobs and participate in our city’s recovery,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.

Leveraging federal dollars in Detroit
Through the program, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will match up to 50% of any non-federal funding spent to provide employment and training services for people who receive food assistance. Those matched dollars can then be used to provide additional employment services to food assistance participants and then be matched again by USDA. That means a large portion of these funds can be returned and used again to train even more Detroiters.
“Every dollar we invest brings in more federal resources to help Detroiters connect with employment.  It’s another way we’re working to help lift people out of poverty,” said Executive Director of Workforce Development, Jeff Donofrio.

The SNAP Match program (FAE&T Plus) was launched in Detroit and Grand Rapids earlier by the State of Michigan and with support from JP Morgan Chase. Six local organizations (Southwest Solutions, Focus HOPE, Dominican Literacy, Goodwill, JVS and Saint Vincent) are currently participating in the program.

Executive Order compliance fees being put to use
The $1 million provided for the grants are from contractor contributions to the city’s Workforce Training Fund, which is made up of compliance fees collected from contractors during the construction of major projects,  including Little Caesar’s Arena, Orleans Landing and others.  Contractors that did not meet the requirement in a given month under Executive Order 2016-1 to hire 51% of its workforce from within the city of Detroit contributed to the workforce fund, which makes them complaint with the Order.   On the Little Caesar’s Arena project, for example, Detroiters worked more than 600,000 hours and arena contractors contributed nearly $3 million to the Workforce Training Fund.  Those funds will be utilized for workforce training for jobs in construction, healthcare, information technology and other high-demand industries in Detroit.

“I’m proud of our history-making record accomplishment of working with the city to successfully comply with this executive order,” said Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “Little Caesars Arena, as the largest-ever project to meet the executive order, has helped thousands of Detroit residents through high-paying jobs and now will help thousands more through the contributions from our contractors. These funds will support the city in providing training to those most in need, building on the more than 800 apprentices who received on-the-job training on our projects already.”

Organizations interested in submitting a proposal can read and download the RFP here: www.detroitmi.gov/SNAP-RFP

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  1. FAET-Plus-with-Matching-Funding-RFP-10-25-2017.pdf 10/26/2017 9:12:35 AM