New $2 Million Center In North End To Help Detroiters Learn Financial Literacy, Get Jobs

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Rendering of the new Goodwill Industries center via the Kresge Foundation

Good news for a well-known Detroit nonprofit and a vacant building in Detroit’s North End neighborhood.

This week word came that a building at 2777 East Grand Boulevard will be renovated by September and be used as the Goodwill Industries North End Workforce Readiness Center. It will house both job readiness and financial training programs.

It took a $2 million agreement between various for profit and nonprofit partners to make the rehab possible of the 10,000 square foot structure owned by the Vanguard Community Development Corporation.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is investing $1 million over the next two years, the Kresge Foundation is in on this contributing a $750,000 grant, and the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will provide construction financing for the project to bridge these long-term funding commitments from foundations and complete build out.

More investments in workforce development can’t come soon enough for the city. Although there are more jobs in Detroit now, many Detroiters due to various reasons aren’t getting these jobs (we looked into this a little more here) as well as there’s a real need for financial literacy training (also touched on that earlier this week).

The two programs that will have services in the building are called Flip the Script and Center for Working Families.

Flip the Script is a Goodwill Industries program that serves hundreds of people each year is a self-empowerment program designed to put Detroit and Wayne County’s at-risk men and women to work by breaking down employment barriers such as literacy, GED certification, and job skills, especially for those under the age of 30.

The Detroit LISC and United Way are partnered up for The Center for Working Families program. They provided financial education services including financial coaching, financial planning/budgeting, and workforce and career development opportunities.

Together, according to Goodwill, the programs will be able to serve 700 clients a year and place 300 in jobs once the new facility.

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