Detroit Regional Chamber > Closing Equity Gaps in Detroit > DTE: We All Have a Role in Creating Good Jobs (And Access to Them)

DTE: We All Have a Role in Creating Good Jobs (And Access to Them)

February 8, 2024

By Rodney E. Cole

Good jobs are critical to Detroit’s future. The availability of good jobs that pay livable wages is vital for retaining Detroit’s workforce and attracting new residents. Growing employment opportunities also bolster Detroit’s tax base, which supports essential services and increases the quality of life for residents. This creates an Detroit Resident Voices Survey graphiceconomic ecosystem that supports a skilled workforce, entices more good jobs, and creates opportunities for residents.

While progress is being made, Detroit’s economic ecosystem has gaps, and residents often struggle to access the good jobs that are available. In fact, only 39% of city residents are satisfied with the availability of good jobs, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Resident Voices Survey.

However, there are strategies that can help close these gaps with support from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors.

Develop and Prepare Young People to Enter the Workforce

Programs like Grow Detroit’s Young Talent provide hundreds of Detroit youths with meaningful summer internships and can be the first step to developing their skills for future careers by exposing them to job opportunities.

Train and Develop Individuals for the Good Jobs Available

Detroit Tree Trim Academy is a first-of-its-kind, Detroit-based tree trimming training program that offers jobs, paid training, and wraparound services like childcare and transportation for a diverse talent pool. Since 2021, it has graduated more than 200 – 75% from communities of color and 50% city of Detroit residents – for jobs DTE has available.

DTE Energy

Photo credit: Jeff Kowalsky for DTE

Remove Unnecessary Barriers to Good Jobs

Policy changes and public-private partnerships have recently made considerable progress in helping Michigan residents regain their driver’s licenses by canceling minor driving infractions. Collaboratively, over 7,200 Michiganders, many of them Detroit residents, have been assisted through the restoration clinics.

Overall, it takes continued collaboration to support the economic ecosystem to create good, sustainable jobs in Detroit. Intentional initiatives across public, private, and philanthropic efforts will have a lasting impact today and on future generations. We all have a role to play in supporting the city’s future and its residents – and DTE is proud to play our part

Rodney E. Cole, President of DTE Foundation and DTE Corporate Citizenship

Rodney E. Cole

Rodney E. Cole is President of DTE Foundation and DTE Corporate Citizenship. The Detroit Resident Voices Survey Report highlights Detroiters’ daily experiences and perceptions and elevates issues that are central to their quality of life.

Released by the Detroit Regional Chamber and Gallup Center on Black Voices, the survey report provides insights that can be used in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors to develop new programs and initiatives to identify and close racial equity gaps. It is part of the Chamber’s Racial Justice and Economic Equity Initiative.