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Employer Success Story: Detroit Manufacturing Systems

Detroit Manufacturing Systems factory floor

In late Spring of 2012, Detroit Manufacturing Systems (DMS) Human Resources Director Rosemary Brewer was introduced to Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation President and CEO Pamela Moore. The introduction was made by Attorney and Detroit Workforce Development Board Member Al Nelson.

DMS was formed in 2012 as a joint venture between French auto supplier Faurecia and Rush Group, a longtime Ford supplier owned by Native American business woman Andra Rush.

An initial meeting between DMS and DESC in June 2012 presented a stark challenge: Faced with a significant order for instrument panels for Ford vehicles, DMS needed to hire 500 skilled manufacturing employees for various union positions, and scaling this fast required the leveraging of partnerships that DMS did not have.

DESC already had a database of Detroit jobseekers, but was also able to leverage a wide network of P.A.T.H. contractors, community and faith‐based organizations and schools within Detroit to recruit additional candidates to be screened for jobs. This network of partners was augmented by use of flyers, word of mouth, outreach to faith‐based organizations, as well as posting to and, Craigslist, and job boards.

DESC assessed potential candidates using a range of tests from reading comprehension and math skills to manual dexterity testing. When DESC found that some candidates were failing drug tests, they located funding that could be used to pre‐screen candidates, ensuring that only those who had passed went forward for interview.

The combination of quality interviewees and DESC’s no‐fee candidate referrals led to DESC becoming the sole recruiting source for DMS. In addition, many candidates qualified for ‘Community Ventures’ grants made available through the MEDC – state funding for recruitment and retention of individuals with employment barriers.

To date, over 2500 candidates have been screened, 1200 interviews conducted and 650 employees hired – a 2:1 recruitment to hire ratio, with a retention rate of over 85%.

“Without them, I don’t know that I would have made my employment requirements,” DMS Human Resources Director Rosemary Brewer said of DESC. “They’ve been very responsive to whatever our needs have been.”