Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation has surged through the 5,000 placement barrier for the first time, more than doubling the total number of W.I.A.-funded (Workforce Investment Act) job-seekers placed the previous year.
Richard Acosta, DESC Director of One-Stop Operations, shared the news with the Detroit Workforce Development Board (DWDB) at its quarterly meeting today at Michigan State University’s Detroit Center on Woodward in Midtown this morning.
“Our placements last year were 2,372 – a 100% improvement over the previous year, but we were still convinced we could do much better” said Mr. Acosta. “I’m delighted to announce that two days ago, on June 11, we went through the 5,000 mark for job-seekers placed in the current program year. That number is a 114% increase on last year, with three weeks of the year still to go.”
The increase in placements measured under the W.I.A. is a major achievement for DESC, which was spun off from the City of Detroit in June 2012. Since commencing operations as a non-profit on July 1, 2012, DESC has seen W.I.A. placements rise from 1,059 when it separated from the city of Detroit, to 2,372 at the end of the 2012-13 program year, to over 5,000 in the current program year – a fourfold increase over 24 months.
DESC President and CEO Pamela Moore said “Over the last two years, we have been able to be significantly more responsive to the needs of Detroit businesses. Being demand-driven has allowed us to focus on occupations in demand and train Detroiters for opportunities that are genuinely available.”
“With the new infrastructure projects coming on line, we now face another challenge – making sure that Detroiters have the training to benefit from these skilled-trades opportunities. Our D-RAP program is addressing this, with 3 times as many apprentices registered as last year, and more on the way with the help of the funding from JPMorgan Chase. We are confident that our placements next year will be even higher than this year” said Ms. Moore.
Janet Howard, Deputy-Director of the State of Michigan Workforce Development Agency, said “The transformation that has taken place over 24 months in Detroit’s workforce system is remarkable. There is still a lot to do but DESC deserves great credit for the improvement, as does the DWDB for the leadership it has shown under sometimes difficult circumstances.”