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In Review: Q1 2014

The first quarter of the calendar year has been a busy and exciting time at DESC. Here are some of the highlights…

• Training for jobseekers who wish to gain their CDL-A license (heavy commercial vehicle license) has been available for some time, with 90% of those who take the course securing employment in this field. 35 are already complete or enrolled and DESC plans to train a further 40 jobseekers over the next six months.

Individuals in the ICD-10 training program

• ICD-10 (medical records coding). The federally mandated standard is resulting in numerous placements, including cohorts at Marygrove, Central Michigan University and Henry Ford Health System.

• DESC’s Detroit Registered Apprentice Program (D-RAP) is scaling to meet the challenge of the city’s new infrastructure projects. 97 individuals have completed D-RAP work readiness training, which provides customized instruction with employability skills and orientation to the selected sponsor’s field of work. Training varies from 3-6 weeks depending on the training program. Another cohort for 25 additional trainees is due to begin in May.

• Manufacturing Production training is underway for 50 individuals through a  work-readiness program at Focus: HOPE. Before the end of June, participants will experience 2 weeks of work-readiness and technical skills training including production simulation.

• IT sales training is ongoing for successful placement into the emerging markets of tech support, customer service and other entry-level positions that require prowess with MSOffice applications.

Employer Engagement
• DESC partnered with Shinola to recruit for as many as 100 new line positions for a plant opening in April. Dozens of candidates have been interviewed to date, with many receiving second interviews and first job offers are expected soon. Recruitment efforts are ongoing.

NAWB photo
Janet Howard (Deputy Director, Workforce Development Agency), Thomas Perez (U.S. Secretary of Labor), and Pamela Moore (President & CEO, DESC)

• Detroit Manufacturing Systems. Our work continues to receive praise and attention. President Obama referenced it during his State of the Union speech in January, as did Mayor Duggan in his State of the City speech in February. U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez also held it as an example of how things ought to work at the U.S Conference of Mayors meeting last month. DESC continues to work with DMS, and has become the sole recruiting resource for this growing Detroit company.

• DESC has now recruited over 100 new employees for Auburn Hills based Reliance One. See the full story here.

Job fair photo
Jobseekers attend a job fair run by DESC for Councilman Benson

• 5,046 jobseekers have been placed into employment by DESC One-Stop Service Centers and P.A.T.H. providers In the first 9 months of the current program year (between July 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014).

• 3000 jobseekers attended the HIRE DETROIT! Job Fair run by DESC for the City of Detroit at Cobo at the end of February. 3,500 job applications were submitted to the city’s jobs site, which in total had nearly 100,000 hits.

• A job fair run by DESC on behalf of Councilman Scott Benson April 23 at the Matrix Center, attracted 1,200 jobseekers.

• DESC is a primary training and recruitment partner for M1 Rail, Olympia Development Management and demolition projects in advance of the forthcoming construction work breaking ground this summer for the new hockey stadium and the Woodward light rail project.

Political Environment
• DESC President and CEO Pamela Moore was invited to the White House in February to hear President Obama launch his initiative focused on the long-term unemployed. While there, she also spent time with Vice-President Biden discussing D-RAP, Youth programs and federal W.I.A. legislation and funding challenges.

Governors Economic Summit
Pamela Moore accepts the ‘Best Collaboration’ award from Governor Rick Snyder

• Tom Lewand, Mayor Duggan’s Group Executive for Jobs and Economic Growth, spoke to the Detroit Workforce Development Board at their meeting March 14, emphasizing the important role DESC will play in revitalizing the city and recognizing the organization’s achievements over the last year.

• Pamela Moore represented Prosperity Region 10 (comprised of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne Counties, as well at the city of Detroit) at the 2014 Governor’s Economic Summit in March in Grand Rapids. The presentation, which focused on the region’s work on the Career Awareness Incubator, was honored with the ‘Best Collaboration’ award, which was presented to Ms. Moore by Governor Rick Snyder and MEDC President and CEO Mike Finney.

OYIF Philadelphia
Aspen Institute representatives meet with DESC staff in Philadelphia

Special Projects
Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF): Engagement with disconnected youth has gathered pace. Representatives of the Aspen Institute visited Detroit for a progress update in January, and in March DESC staff visited Baltimore and Philadelphia to exchange best practices with organizations in those cities. Development continues in this area and final implementation plans, which will include development of a Data Platform in Phase One, are being documented in advance of the June submission deadline.

Osborn/Grand Circus Partnership: Over 20 students from Osborn have started a 6-week program at Grand Circus in downtown Detroit. The partnership will expose students to skills and careers in computer application coding, sparking the interest of youth to be successful creators, not just consumers, in the fast-growing IT industry. DESC partners include Youth Development Commission, Neighborhood Services Organization, Osborn, and Grand Circus.

Joyce Parrott and Pelecia Ward
Participants take notes during the P2E launch

P2E: In January, a new program targeting veterans and the long-term unemployed was launched at Northwest Activities center. The program, called Platform to Employment (P2E) was developed in Connecticut and is now being launched as a pilot in Detroit – the 8th U.S. city so far to pilot P2E. The program included 5 weeks of training followed by an 8-week work experience program at no risk or cost to employers. In the vast majority of cases to date, employers have hired P2E candidates at the end of their work experience placement.

Returning Citizens Training: DESC has launched its first pilot cohort of Returning Citizens training. 43 participants completed a week-long work readiness program, during which they received dedicated case management and job development training. Ten participants have been placed into employment, one member of this cohort with a demolition company, and more are expected to follow.

• At the end of March, 30 students from Osborn and East English Village began an 8-week program with STEM Genius. The program, founded by Yul Allen, exposes students to underwater robotics, physics and biomedical engineering. Participating students also receive a summer work experience placement in fields related to the training modules.

Step IT Up America: Recruitment for the ‘Step IT Up America’ program began in April. This program, for which DESC is working in partnership with UST Global, is recruiting 100 minority women for a 12 week course training them for careers in IT. Training begins in late June. See the video here for more information.

Q2 is shaping up to have just as many milestones as Q1, if not more, so be sure to subscribe to our eSolutions newsletter to keep up to date with all DESC news.