Rev. Jesse Jackson came to town in support of Mayor Mike Duggan's new plan to hire more Detroit-based, minority owned contractors to clear the city's big blight problem.
"There is going to be a huge opportunity for years to come in the city of Detroit," said Duggan. "Let's develop our own companies in the city, let's develop our own residence to get them hired."
Jackson said, "This is the beginning of an urban reconstruction renaissance for Detroit."
Through special partnerships with contractors, the city is planning to offer certification discounts, to help put more Detroiters to work tearing down and rehabbing the houses that are eyesores.
"It also leads to leads to a huge amount of renovation funding because every time we take out a burned-out home," said Duggan. "The person next-door, who had a structurally sound home, starts to put money into it."
Duggan says the number of houses demolished is on the rise and projected to continue to grow by 1,000 a year.
Duggan and Jackson hope by using more local workers, the city will be set up to become a model for the country in blight management, and make the neighborhoods safer.
"There's been no urban reconstruction plan to address physical and economic violence," said Jackson. "This begins the process."
For all contractors looking to get involved, the city will be holding the first of several contractor opportunity fairs on May 13th.
Information on that can be found here: http://www.timetoendblight.com/