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Bring job education to Detroit’s unemployed

May 31, 2015 – Crain’s Detroit Business

Panel discussion
Left to right: Chauncy Lennon, Faye Nelson, Pamela Moore, William Jones Jr.

Jobs, jobs, jobs. That was a subtext throughout the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference, which concluded Friday. Session after session repeated: One key to Detroit’s future is increasing the income levels of its residents through education, training and jobs.

Data presented by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. showed that 61 percent of Detroiters are ages 16 to 64 — workforce age, if you include teen jobs. Almost one-fifth live in poverty.

And compared to other major cities, Detroit’s working residents work for lower wages and mostly outside the city — because that’s where the lower-skilled jobs are. Low educational attainment rates drive poverty and unemployment. Detroit also has fewer private sector jobs — versus nonprofit and government jobs — than other major cities.

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