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Over 100 Attend October DESC Partner Meeting

Horatio Williams
Horatio Williams speaks at the Partner Meeting

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) held its most recent meeting October 8, at the Horatio Williams Foundation in Detroit.

The meeting, which takes place quarterly, draws together over 100 DESC partners from across the workforce development and youth space to share information and suggestions.

Horatio Williams welcomed partners and discussed opportunities within his organization for at-risk youth and then introduced Pamela Moore, DESC President & CEO, who updated partners on DESC placements, grants received, and the workforce landscape.

Particular attention was given to the $5MM DOL Grant announced at the end of June. “We’re going to work with the Michigan Department of Corrections to locate One-Stop Service Centers inside correctional facilities” said Moore. “That means residents within the facility will get help with being ready-to-work before they re-enter society.”

Presentations by Carla Phelps, DESC Senior Youth Program Analyst and Stephanie Nixon, DESC Director of Program & Service Innovation spoke about two special youth initiatives. The first highlighted the ‘Grow Detroit’s Young Talent’ summer employment program, which placed nearly 5,600 youth ages 14 to 24 into summer employment, with some youth receiving permanent job offers when the program wrapped up for the summer.

The second presentation covered the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Program, which is now starting its second year in Detroit schools. “In our first JAG year, 95% of enrolled students graduated” said Nixon. “Because of this success, the JAG program is expanding from 4 to 6 campuses at Cody and Osborn high schools, and now has 300 students enrolled.”

Kellee Miller, DESC Community Engagement Coordinator, gave an update on the development of the DESC Community Partner Directory. The initial directory was developed since the last partners meeting and was circulated to partners in September. “Around 100 partners are already included in the directory and we encourage anyone who missed this first release to please supply their information for future releases” said Miller. Work Force One“We are also developing a web-based portal to host this information so that partners can search it in real time, which we hope will be ready for release early in the New Year.”

Work Force One, DESC’s mobile unit, was parked outside the Horatio Williams Foundation and partners were encouraged to visit the DESC website booking form if they want the mobile unit to visit their events. Work Force One is available to appear at community events for between 2 and 6 hours at a time. To request Work Force One, please click here.

Brandon Jessup, DESC Business Analyst, spoke in detail about Detroit’s labor market, presenting a wide range of data on the Detroit workforce and job opportunities. A break-out session followed to discuss possible solutions for three of the barriers facing Detroiters in becoming and staying employed. These barriers included child care, transportation, and drug testing.

Every quarter, Detroit Employment Solutions holds a meeting with the many community and faith based organizations it works with on a daily basis around the city – organizations like Focus: HOPE, Southwest Solutions, the Michigan Department of Corrections and SER Metro. At the meeting, DESC communicates information about new initiatives, hot jobs and work readiness programming. Want to learn more? Connect with us on Twitter using the hash tag #descpartners. Interested in becoming a partner? Email Kellee Miller at