Mission & Vision


A Detroit in which all residents have the skills and resources needed to have sustainable career pathways and livelihoods and can participate in the current, growing, and future economy of the Detroit region.



Build an alliance of stakeholders who collectively have a measurable impact on Detroit’s ability to connect the skill and employment needs of its residents with employers’ workforce needs.



Our values are what we collectively believe in and guide our behaviors.

Engaging a diverse cross section of individual, organizational, and regional stakeholders and partners is key to our Alliance building efforts and success.  We work to create an organizational environment that values the diversity of its voices, ensuring that the Alliance embraces equity as a key driver of economic development in the region. We work to have a workforce system that is accessible across race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, sexual orientation, immigration status, and physical and mental ability.

A commitment to building an alliance requires a willingness to “try on” new paradigms.  This means challenging our assumptions and raising difficult questions.  It means valuing and actively promoting learning and experimentation, gaining new knowledge and developing new skills.  It means making personal, organizational, systems, and cultural shifts to continually improve our efforts and outcomes.

Collaboration across differences is the cornerstone for having a collective and systemic impact on Detroit’s workforce development efforts.  We embrace collaboration to build trust, foster new ideas, and maximize our collective assets.  We hold ourselves and one another accountable for living out our values, guiding principles, and commitments.  We acknowledge what is working and what needs improvement, and we adapt to meet our goals.

We want our relationships with stakeholders and network partners to be based on transparency and trust.  We promote open, honest, and respectful dialogue that honors our diverse voices and points of view.  We work to make clear the how and why decisions are made and how stakeholders can have a voice in those decisions.



Our guiding principles help inform our decision making.

We measure success by how well we engage Detroit’s residents in helping to create solutions to workforce development challenges and to influencing the efforts and decisions that affect their lives. We also measure success by how effectively we support residents in advocating for themselves.

We measure success by how well we engage and meet the workforce needs of Detroit area employers, directly and in connection with others. We also measure success by how effective we are at securing commitments from employers to partner with local stakeholders to create an equitable workforce and inclusive workplace, and work with them to hire and advance quality work and sustainable careers for Detroit residents.

We are guided by and agree to uphold the Alliance’s shared vision and mission and trust the processes we have agreed upon for working together, even if we don’t always agree. With diversity and inclusion as a core value, we promote a spirit of shared leadership and power equity among all stakeholders and partners. We use our Alliance Building Guidelines (VISIONS, Inc) as the framework for communicating, problem-solving, and resolving conflict.

We commit to building our capacity to have an impact and make systemic change in the workforce development system, both for residents and employers. We are open to gaining knowledge and skills and use social change and equity models and frameworks that support reaching the Alliance’s goals.

We make individual, organizational, and collective resource contributions to the Alliance’s success. We work to build upon each others’ strengths, and focus our efforts individually and organizationally in complementary ways that help us work together to achieve shared outcomes. We agree that it is acceptable and sometimes even important to acknowledge and advance Alliance members’ individual interests when these do not violate the interests of other Alliance members or the Alliance itself.

Detroit is fortunate to have many active community-based organizations that are devoted to helping Detroiters succeed in work and life. Yet, customers—including residents and employers— and potential partners and investors in the local system often express a sense of confusion and chaos which stems in part from a perceived lack of alignment of efforts. Through better alignment and coordination, resources could be leveraged more effectively and create more opportunities for collaboration, rather than collaboration, to better meet employer needs AND resident job placement and retention outcomes.

The spectrum of Detroiters needing help to achieve workforce success is broad. There are, however, particular groups that face unique barriers to employment, such as veterans, limited English proficient persons, older youth (16-24), those with mental health and substance abuse issues, and returning citizens and ex-offenders. Strategies are needed to allow for all Detroiters to access services, while providing focused attention to those who need the most help.