Detroit GreenWorks Solutions is regarded as a national model for training and placing unemployed and underemployed residents in green jobs.
As a result, the program will receive a new infusion of significant federal funds to extend its work in the community.
Detroit GreenWorks Solutions began last spring through a two-year, $4 million “Pathways Out of Poverty” grant secured through the U.S. Department of Labor. GreenWorks is consortium of agencies lead by Southwest Solutions that includes WARM Training Center, The Greening of Detroit, Henry Ford Community College, and the Detroit Workforce Development Department. The program provides disadvantaged residents in southwest Detroit job training and opportunities in the green industries sector, such as weatherization, agriculture and forestry.
Jobs for the Future announced on June 27 that it is awarding $6 million in grants to organizations in seven cities, including Detroit, as part of its “GreenWays Initiative.” Jobs for the Future is a national nonprofit based in Boston that specializes in innovative education and workforce strategies. The GreenWays Initiative is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) through the Green Jobs Innovation Fund.
The Detroit grant of $858,000 is provided to the Detroit and Southeast Michigan Fund for Innovative Workforce Solutions (The Detroit Fund), which will serve as the intermediary to support the green jobs program developed by Detroit GreenWorks Solutions. Southwest Solutions wrote the grant application submitted to Jobs for the Future.
The Detroit Fund is a collaboration of ten funders committed to promoting regional economic growth through the development of a skilled workforce. The United Way for Southeastern Michigan administers The Detroit Fund.
The grant will fund job training related to energy-efficient building, retrofitting, deconstruction and materials re-use, residential energy efficiency assessing, and other environmental services.
“To revitalize our community, we must help families improve their economic situation by providing relevant skills training to individuals so they can secure good-paying and long-term employment,” said Linda West, who directs Detroit GreenWorks Solutions as well as the Center for Working Families at Southwest Solutions. “GreenWorks is making a difference in southwest Detroit, and we are grateful to receive this new grant so we can continue to help families better their economic prospects and their lives.”
To read a story in Crain's Detroit about the grant, click here.