Detroit’s workforce is gearing up. And the city’s community-based non-profit organizations and public agencies have been creating opportunities for these workers through workforce training, technical education, support for deteriorating neighborhoods, dependable transportation for workers, affordable quality daycare. These organizations are helping people make a transition from depending on public assistance to being essential to the prosperity of Detroit, the key to prosperity for all of Michigan.
Many of these organizations are members of the Detroit Jobs Alliance. These members are working hand-in-hand, keeping first and foremost in mind the interests of the men and women who want to do better for themselves and their families as vital to improving the community at-large. Together, DJA members are helping our region and state take advantage of one of our biggest assets, the people in Detroit who want to contribute to and share in that prosperity. It’s already beginning to happen, but to be as effective as the growing economy will demand, more must be done.
Since 2012, the Detroit Jobs Alliance has:
- Engaged over a hundred organizations and established a 25-member steering committee composed of community, education, economic, workforce, labor and faith-based organizations; these stakeholders are participating in a new collaborative model and collective impact process, have established a shared agenda for action, and nine organizations have stepped forward to co-champion implementation of the DJA’s four initiative areas, leveraging over 100 hours/month in commitments and numerous other organizational resources in support of the DJA agenda.
- Created a website to aggregate information and resources for the community, including an interactive online directory of over 40 workforce service providers in the city.
- Surveyed over 80 faith-based organizations on workforce interests and needs, and conducting follow up activities.
- Held public events featuring employers focused on ensuring all residents have the needed support and preparation for jobs and careers; as one outcome, we established a direct contact at the State of Michigan to help employers resolve fees so their prospective employees can get an ID and work on the job.
- Led a communications campaign that began with a May 2013 event at the Detroit Historical Museum featuring a video and report – Shared Prosperity: creating opportunities for all within the Detroit resurgence – that makes a call to action to employers, funders, and policymakers on behalf of Detroit residents and community organizations that serve them; DJA has been promoted in the media, e.g. a Michigan Chronicle article by former State Senate Minority Leader Buzz Thomas.
- Forged a strategic partnership with Detroit Future City and engaged a cohort of Detroit community organizations that are sharing program data in support of creating a way to benchmark themselves and the Detroit workforce system as a whole against other cities as part of the national Workforce Benchmarking Network.
- Connected over a hundred organizations to each other to support new partnership development and improved outcomes.