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Detroit announces new $100 million program to get unemployed people back to work

Mayor Duggan, city council members and Gene Sperling with representatives of the 18 organizations selected to work with the city on its $40 million ARPA-funded Jump Start program.
City of Detroit
Michigan Radio
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, city council members, and American Rescue Plan Implementation Coordinator Gene Sperling stand with representatives of the 18 organizations selected to work with Detroit on its ARPA-funded Jump Start program.

Detroit is investing millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act into getting unemployed Detroiters back to work.

The federal law is meant to help communities recover from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced Friday that the city will give $100 million to 18 Detroit organizations to distribute as scholarships that will go toward teaching adults to read, helping people get their GED, and expanding other job training programs.

Duggan said some of the fund is specifically for people who have been unemployed for six months or more.

"If you've been unemployed for six months, you are very likely facing significant barriers that have left you unemployed, whether it is a child care challenge, whether you don't have a car, it’s a transportation challenge, whether you can't read, whether you've got housing insecurity. There are a lot of different reasons," Duggan said.

Each of the 18 participating organization will be paid monthly by a third-party administrator as program participants reach milestones. If a participant completes a program, the organization can get up to $8,800. Officials said that encourages long-term success.

Laura Chavez is with the Southwest Detroit Business Association, one of the 18 organizations that will be training Detroiters.

"It's really important for us to understand that we have a natural resource in Detroit, which is multi-language. And I think that we need to elevate that," Chavez said. "With this program, I do believe that we will be able to find work placement and leave a legacy for our community."

The Jump Start program will officially open to enrollment on Tuesday, January 31.

Mayor Duggan said he will provide enrollment details during an evening address on Monday, January 30, at 7 p.m. in the 13th floor auditorium at City Hall. It will also be livestreamed on the city's social media pages.

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.
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