Detroit at Work offers 2nd chance, job training for returning citizens

- Detroiters at Triumph Church Thursday had one thing in common. They are unemployed but don't have the skills to fill jobs out there now.  
   
Many are armed with resumes, but lacking the trade skills to fill countless jobs that are available.  Today, they learned there's a place to go to get the skills needed to fill many jobs - including a chance to work for the Detroit Police Department.  

"A lot of people think you have to have a degree in criminal justice or so many classes in the CJ field but that's not true," said Sgt. Starr Gonzales. "We train you from day one. We start pay at $18.18 an hour."

A program was started by the Duggan administration called Detroit at Work is working, according to the US Labor Bureau.  

A look at Detroit employment numbers shows the improvement.  This year: 6,811 gained employment in the city -  the highest level of employment in seven years according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Let's stop sitting back and saying 'Hey I have a criminal record, I can't apply for this,'" said Tara Defoe, city of Detroit. "These jobs and as the city of Detroit we want to say 'Hey we are hiring returning citizens."

Returning citizens means people with misdemeanors and felonies. Given a second chance, the city has jobs waiting for them. Boarding up houses or working in an office, and they'll offer the skill training to make sure people with criminal past can have a clean future. 

"Yeah, I am a returning citizen," said Patrick Huffman. "It's kind of hard having a felony sometimes, looking for a job here and there. So the jobs here are felony friendly. That's really good and it helps out a lot." 

"Don't listen to friends and other people who said you can't do those jobs," Defoe said. "Show them and come out and get the training and then begin the pathway to a decent quality of life."

For info on how to get training call 1-800-285-WORK. Progress can be found all around downtown Detroit.  

But progress came not without a problem at Little Caesars Arena last summer when dozens of contractors were fined for not using at least 51 percent of Detroiters in the construction of the $800 million building. Contractors were fined almost $3 million because of it. 

Three months later at Triumph church in Detroit on Thursday there was an effort to make sure that never happens again. Detroiters in this room have one thing in common. They are unemployed but don't have the skills to fill jobs out there now.  
   
Many are armed with resumes, but lacking the trade skills to fill countless jobs that are available.  Today, they learned there's a place to go to get the skills needed to fill many jobs - including a chance to work for the Detroit Police Department.  

"A lot of people think you have to have a degree in criminal justice or so many classes in the CJ field but that's not true," said Sgt. Starr Gonzales. "We train you from day one. We start pay at $18.18 an hour."

A program was started by the Duggan administration called Detroit at Work is working, according to the US Labor Bureau.  

A look at Detroit employment numbers shows the improvement.  This year: 6,811 gained employment in the city -  the highest level of employment in seven years according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Let's stop sitting back and saying 'Hey I have a criminal record, I can't apply for this,'" said Tara Defoe, city of Detroit. "These jobs and as the city of Detroit we want to say 'Hey we are hiring returning citizens."

Returning citizens means people with misdemeanors and felonies. Given a second chance, the city has jobs waiting for them. Boarding up houses or working in an office, and they'll offer the skill training to make sure people with criminal past can have a clean future. 

"Yeah, I am a returning citizen," said Patrick Huffman. "It's kind of hard having a felony sometimes, looking for a job here and there. So the jobs here are felony friendly. That's really good and it helps out a lot." 

"Don't listen to friends and other people who said you can't do those jobs," Defoe said. "Show them and come out and get the training and then begin the pathway to a decent quality of life."

For info on how to get training call 1-800-285-WORK.
 

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