The Detroit and Southeast Michigan Fund for Innovative Workforce Solutions has leveraged $858,000 in U.S. Department of Labor funding for “green” job training.
Jobs for the Future, a Boston-based nonprofit, announced the grants this week as part of $6 million in federal funding it’s passing through to job retraining in seven U.S. cities. Other cities that won grants were Boston, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington.
The Detroit grant, awarded to United Way for Southeastern Michigan as fiduciary, will fund job training for about 300 people in residential energy-efficiency retrofitting and green residential deconstruction, said Wendy Jackson, senior program officer at the Kresge Foundation and chairwoman of the local workforce development fund.
The Detroit and Southeast Michigan Fund for Innovative Workforce Solutions is an alliance of 10 public and private groups that came together in January to develop a more coordinated approach to workforce development, focusing initially on the green and health care sectors.
The fund has committed $3.5 million over the next three years to train Southeast Michigan workers for emerging jobs, with an initial emphasis on the health and sustainability sectors.
It plans to distribute the federal grant among a consortium of organizations providing leadership in building out Detroit’s green economy, including WARM Training Center, Henry Ford Community College, Southwest Solutions, Detroit Workforce Development Department and Greening of Detroit — which is involved, in part, to help develop community gardens for lots left vacant after residential demolition, Jackson said. “A key goal of the workforce fund is to use private sector resources that philanthropy has provided to leverage additional public investment in getting jobs for Detroit residents,” she said. “The investment by the Department of Labor … is a very good example of the kind of public-private partnership opportunities that exist for improving workforce development in the city.”
Source: Crain’s Detroit Business