JOBS AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
All my life I have worked to help others fulfill their God-given potential. Whether working in city recreation programs to keep our youth out of trouble and enrich their lives; or mentoring the most academically and socially challenged in our community; or negotiating contracts on behalf of thousands of hospitality workers, I have made others’ potential my priority.
That’s why I believe our economic development must be within a framework of inclusion for all Detroiters:
-We must reform the bid and contracting process so that Detroit-based and minority businesses that employ have a competitive advantage;
-We must ensure that trade apprentice programs are successful in reaching Detroiters whose access to transportation and basic skills training is often limited;
-We must work with employers and community organizations like the ACLU to ensure fair access to employment opportunities for returning citizens and the chronically unemployed.
We have seen some tremendous progress. Last summer, the Detroit Summer Jobs program employed 5,800 young people. This summer, it will provide jobs to 8,000 city youth. I know from personal experience that those programs can literally turn around a life and put it on a path to future success.
Our city has a bright future, to be sure. But like a rising tide, we must lift all boats. Only then will we have fulfilled our promise of rebirth to our city and its citizens.
“If the revitalization of Detroit does not work to include all of our citizens who want to find meaningful and sustainable employment, then our promise of ‘rebirth’ is hollow and we have failed.”