(WXYZ) – Detroit is trying hard to get the long-term unemployed back to work. A new scholarship program in the city aims to pay for residents to acquire the basic skills needed to re-enter the workforce.
The city is making progress in reducing the unemployment rate since rising to 38% at the start of the pandemic. In November, Detroit’s unemployment rate fell below 7% for the first time in nearly two decades — a significant improvement, but still lagging behind the state’s unemployment rate.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city will use $100 million in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act to provide scholarships to residents for job training opportunities.
Those who are eligible can receive assistance through several programs. For example, residents can be paid $10 an hour to learn basic math and reading skills and even earn their high school diplomas. The city is also offering Detroiters a chance to earn $15 an hour for putting in work three days a week and in the classroom two days a week. The ultimate goal is to earn a GED or technical certification.
What’s more, the program covers a variety of industries including healthcare, information technology, logistics, and more.
“When I got elected the unemployment rate was 18%. In May 2020, at the peak of COVID, it was 38%. Being below 6% means people in this city worked hard to go out and get .Jobs to go to training programs. It’s the residents who are doing it and the interesting thing is we can do better,” said Mayor Duggan.
The mayor is expected to reveal more details about the program during Monday night’s charter-mandated meeting. This meeting starts at 7 pm. Residents may attend both in person and online, and the mayor will take questions from those attending.