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Detroit Youth Benefit from White House Funding

White HouseDetroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) is one of 11 organizations nationwide to benefit from a $21 million grant from the White House Summer Opportunity Project, focused on providing work opportunities for youth.

In Detroit, the $2 million in funding over two years will allow DESC to provide career development activities to 1,000 youth as part of the Mayor’s ‘Grow Detroit’s Young Talent’ (GDYT) program.

“Access to a job in the summer and beyond can make all the difference to a young person – especially those who don’t have access to many resources and opportunities,” said President Barack Obama as he announced the award.

The White House’s Summer Opportunity Project hopes that participation in a jobs program will lead to a reduction in the amount of youth-related crime over the summer months, in addition to helping prepare youth with real life work experiences they will need to attain a job in the future.

“This grant will let us bring more employment opportunities and training to young Detroiters,” said Jose Reyes, interim president and CEO of DESC. “We appreciate that the Obama administration sees the difference that we are making in Detroit and is helping us to expand our efforts.”

Mayor Mike Duggan’s GDYT program has received over 11,000 applications for the 8,000 available placements, and the number of businesses involved has more than doubled since last year. Employers have the option to hire youth directly, sponsor a youth experience or split the cost fifty-fifty with GDYT. The program also includes 12 hours of pre-work readiness training and 24 hours of ongoing training, which includes financial literacy.

DESC supports the GDYT program and is committed to aiding its growth. “We must adapt to fit the needs of prospective employers and employees,” said Stephanie Nixon, DESC director of programs and service innovation.

DESC will be creating a smartphone app to display program opportunities and support services. In addition, they will begin the use of digital badges to act as online certification to verify previous experiences and skillsets.

“The summer-only program will now be year-round thanks to the White House Youth grant,” said Nixon.

For more information about the GDYT program, please visit gdyt.org. Visit the White House website for more information about the White House Summer Opportunity Project.

Detroit launches college promise for students

Detroit News, March 22, 2016 — Permanent funding is on the way for a program that is providing Detroit high school graduates a tuition-free path to an associate’s degree. shutterstock_315957842

The dedicated revenue source to fund college scholarships for city students is made possible through the Detroit Promise Zone, a designation created by law during the Granholm administration that allows Detroit to capture a portion of state education taxes generated in the city to offer scholarships.

Mayor Mike Duggan touted the program Tuesday as the Michigan Senate prepares to take up key legislation to reform the Detroit Public Schools, a move the mayor says is needed to improve the standard of education and retain families in the city.

“If families in this community know that you can get a quality education in the schools and you’ve got your first two years of college paid for because you live in the city, it’s a major step forward,” Duggan told The Detroit News. “A quality education system is at the center of every great city and we have to build one here.”

Read full article here

DESC and WCCC Put Women to Work in Non-Traditional Roles

Quamara RsulIn the interest of fulfilling a key Detroit Department of Transportation objective to increase the number of buses providing service to Detroit commuters, the City of Detroit actively sought to significantly step up bus maintenance operations and hire more qualified fleet maintenance personnel. DDOT needed more diesel mechanics to make repairs and maintain the bus fleet. Detroit Employment and Solutions Corporation came to the aid of the on street mass transportation system and worked with DDOT to put 12 candidates through training at Wayne County Community College. All were offered positions with DDOT, and 11 accepted. Qamara Rasul was one of the 11, and the only female.

Read full article here

Success Spotlight: Edeshia Ellis

In December 2014, Edeshia Ellis met with PATH Case Manager Kimberly Jackson at DESC’s partner agency Resource Network, Inc. Edeshia told Kimberly of her desire to enroll in a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program. Kimberly reviewed the program prerequisites and concluded that Edeshia qualified for the training.Edeshia Ellis CNA training graduation

The program required that Edeshia work no fewer than 20 hours each week. Since she was averaging about 10 hours weekly in her job at Taco Bell, job developer Leo Carr assisted her in finding work to supplement her schedule to reach the required 20 hours. DESC Supportive Services provided bus tickets to assist Edeshia in getting back and forth to training, work and job interviews. DESC also provided a referral to Jackets for Jobs, where she was able to obtain clothing suitable for professional interviews.

In April 2015, Edeshia began her CNA training at Career Essentials Learning Center, where she received personalized instruction that helped her gain self-confidence and develop the tools necessary to apply for jobs in her new field. After completing training and passing her state certification exam, St. Joseph’s Nursing Home offered Edeshia a full-time CNA position. This opportunity increased her hourly earnings from $8.15 to $10.42.

“I’m so grateful for the help and support DESC and Resource Network gave me. Now that I’m working here I’ve even been able to get my own car!” – Edeshia Ellis

Success Spotlight: Cleveland Everhart

Cleveland Everhart was having difficulty finding meaningful employment. After working security for a pub, he wanted to find a career in the skilled trades.

With this goal in mind, in February 2013 he began a 14-week Machinist training course at Focus: HOPE. He learned to read and interpret blueprints, solve shop math equations, and inspect machined parts to ensure that specifications are met.

After completing the program and graduating with a machinist certificate, he was referred to Operating Engineers local 324 located in Howell, MI for training as an operating engineer.

DOL photo 5 hi resLocal 324 also referred Cleveland to Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation’s ‘Detroit Registered Apprenticeship Program’ (D-RAP).

He visited one of DESC’s One-Stop Service Centers and attended Orientation, and then met with the One-Stop Service Center staff to review the requirements of D-RAP. He was found to meet all the requirements of the program and began the 60-hour Work Readiness training in early December 2013.

By coincidence, a portion of Mr. Everhart’s training overlapped with the launch of ‘Hire Detroit!’ – an awareness campaign designed to highlight the importance of getting Detroiters back to work. It was at this event that Mr. Everhart met U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and had the opportunity to tell him about his goals and what he wanted to gain from the D-RAP program.

Work Readiness training is rigorous, and includes two weeks of general employment readiness classroom training at the One-Stop Service Center. The training is conducted Monday through Friday from 9am – 5pm and no absences are allowed during these initial two weeks. In addition to the classroom training, a further three to six weeks of training in the occupational field of the apprenticeship may occur.

Cleveland EverhartCleveland successfully completed his 60 hours of Work Readiness training on December 20, 2013 and upon completion was contacted by Operating Engineers Local 324 to begin their four year apprenticeship program.

Soon thereafter, on January 6, 2014 he secured employment with Barton Malow construction working as an Operating Engineer apprentice.

“What interested me in an apprenticeship was the opportunity to improve; I can develop a skilled trade, and also there was the opportunity for guaranteed employment.” – Cleveland Everhart

Cleveland is now nearly two years into his apprenticeship as an Operating Engineer. DESC’s D-RAP program has to date helped nearly 90 Detroiters get started on their new career path, developing in-demand skills that will help them to achieve economic independence.

If you are interested in starting a new career, visit one of our One-Stop Service Centers today.

Success Spotlight: Lionell Brown

Lionell BrownAlthough he was close to graduating with his Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Systems (CIS), Lionell Brown had little hands-on technology experience. Fortunately, Ryan Hoyle of GalaxE Solutions had mentioned the ExperienceIT program to Lionell, and one of Lionell’s college instructors encouraged him to visit a DESC One-Stop Service Center to apply for an ExperienceIT 8-week bootcamp.

When Lionell arrived for his ExperienceIT interview, he was not wearing professional attire. Spotting an opportunity to build soft skills, Lionell’s DESC Career Counselor referred him for the Object Oriented and Behavioral Assessment and then provided one-on-one instruction on becoming job ready, which included attending mock interviews.

After completing these steps, Lionell was ready to enter ExperienceIT bootcamp. He attended bootcamp at Detroit’s Grand Circus while working two part-time jobs and attending school. Recognizing that his best chance for success meant focusing more time on bootcamp, Lionell left his night job as a janitor. DESC stepped in to provide a training stipend that allowed Lionell to maintain his financial responsibilities while he completed training.

Lionell’s dedication paid off when he accepted a Junior .NET Developer position with Systems in Motion (Nexient). Lionell celebrated one year with Systems in Motion in October 2015.

“Since joining Nexient, Lionell has proven to be a valuable member of my team. With a blend of technical knowledge, problem solving skills, and quick learning capability, he has shown the ability to complete tasks assigned to him in a timely and quality manner.  Lionell is positioning himself to have a sustained career as a professional software developer. I am looking forward to working with Lionell for many years to come here at Nexient.” – Peter Lu, Director and Principal Solutions Architect, Nexient

If you’re currently a jobseeker we may be able assist you too! Please contact us or visit us to get the process started!

Success Spotlight: Theresa Sanders

Theresa SandersTheresa Sanders first visited a Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) One-Stop Service Center in December 2014 seeking employment assistance after being let go from her previous employer.

She attended orientation and then met with her career advisor, Shanna Young, to discuss how DESC could help her find employment. During this meeting, Ms. Sanders’ resume, previous employment, skills, and career goals were discussed. Shanna determined that Ms. Sanders was employment ready and referred her to attend recruitment events.

Ms. Sanders was referred to a recruitment event for Henry Ford Health System being held by Business Account Representative Twanna Tidwell. Ms. Sanders was hired and as of mid-June, she has become a permanent employee.

Ms. Sanders did state that even though her new position as a Customer Service Representative is a pay cut, it’s a better environment and not just a job, but a career. She is looking to build longevity with her new employer and sees herself advancing in her role within the next year. From the time Ms. Sanders came into DESC, she expressed nothing short of a positive attitude and determination, which is definitely key in seeking employment.

“I am surprised at how quickly DESC has been able to find me employment and very thankful for the help and service provided by Ms. Young and Ms. Tidwell.” – Theresa Sanders

Success Spotlight: Robert Curry

Detroit Truck Driver Finds a Way during Tough Times

Robert Curry
August, 28, 2015 – Adriane Davis, Detroit Opportunities Blog

Robert Curry is one of Detroit’s many returning residents who, after years of imprisonment, used dislocated worker funds to obtain a Commercial Driver License. Getting that license helped him find a job that pays well enough to support him and his family. Curry has had many jobs and has been laid off constantly over the years. With felonies on his record, finding a job was not easy but his determination has allowed him to start fresh with help from Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC).

To continue reading, please click here.

Success Spotlight: Thomas Alexander

As a returning citizen, Mr. Thomas Alexander was having difficulty finding employment. Not sure where to start looking, he visited Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation One-Stop Service Center on Conner in May 2014.

After attending orientation, he met with his Career Advisor, Cyrus Wheeler, to discuss training and employment opportunities available. Cyrus referred Mr. Alexander to take the GAIN test, which is a first step down the employment path and measures Math and English levels. Mr. Alexander passed both sections of the test.

Thomas Alexander
Mr. Alexander speaks at the press conference

Cyrus referred Mr. Alexander to the returning citizens training program. The training program runs from 9am until 3pm for one week and is conducted by Special Populations Trainer, Marcus Williams. This demand-based training in work readiness is specifically designed to address the needs of returning citizens. Career assessment, goal setting, transferable skills, resume building, and mock interviewing are all covered during the week. Continue reading

Success Spotlight: Michael Beeman

Being laid off several times due to company mergers and cutbacks would discourage anyone, but Michael Beeman transformed these setbacks into an opportunity to concentrate on finding the perfect career fit.

Michael Beeman
Michael Beeman, Nursing Practice Corporation Chief Financial Officer

“It’s all about finding the right fit for both the employee and employer,” said Mr.Beeman, the new Chief Financial Officer at Nursing Practice Corporation, the company that manages Campus Health Center at Wayne State University.

Mr. Beeman set up a website illustrating his job skills, polished up his resume, read jobseeker guides, and never stopped applying.

When Denise Stringer, Business Account Representative at Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, posted the position for Chief Financial Officer working in the healthcare industry, Mr. Beeman knew he had to apply. His years of experience working with large budgets in hospitals, physician’s practices, and counseling centers made him an obvious fit. Continue reading