Regional Businesses Connect Young Men of Color with Jobs, Pathways to Success

By Daniel Lai

In a visible sign of Detroit’s ongoing economic resurgence, more than 40 national and regional employers descended on Cobo Center on Monday to fill 300 full-time and 100 seasonal positions. The Pathways to Success summit, hosted by My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, connected employers with boys and young men of color.

The job fair drew more than 1,500 young people, who met and interviewed with companies like the Detroit Police Department, Little Caesars, Meijer, Quicken Loans, Starbucks and Walgreens.

As part of its ongoing effort to grow the regional economy, the Detroit Regional Chamber served as a key partner for the Summit, helping to recruit Chamber member businesses to provide jobs and/or training opportunities.

“In Detroit, we’re facing an economic boom in the construction industry but also a trade labor shortage. For so many years, people have been told to go to college and it has taken away from the skilled trades industry overall. We need to replace those workers who are starting to age out,” said Dannis Mitchell, diversity manager at Barton Malow Coimg_9670

“Events like this Summit are a great way to meet these younger individuals and educate them on the steps needed toward a job or apprenticeship,” Mitchell added. “This is a tremendous experience for not only the youth but for the employers who are looking to tap into a new talent pipeline. We want to be a change agent in the community.”

In addition to on-the-spot interviews, the Summit provided free resume building workshops, mock interviews, coaching, haircuts from local barbershops, and sports coats and ties donated by Macy’s.

For more information on My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, visit www.mbkalliance.org.

Businesses Sought to Provide Jobs for Boys and Young Men of Color at Career Summit

By Daniel Lai

Building on its effort to grow the region’s economy and connect young people with jobs and sustainable career pathways, the Detroit Regional Chamber, together with My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and Mayor Mike Duggan, are recruiting regional businesses to pledge employment opportunities and/or career training for boys and young men of color.

The goal is to sign up business partners who are committed to provide 250 jobs for hire on-site during the Pathways to Success Career Summit on Nov. 14 at Cobo Center.

“This program is about creating real opportunity, which is something we really haven’t done enough of,” Duggan said during a recruitment meeting with local, state and national companies at city hall last week.

In addition, the Summit brings together HR representatives and career coaches to provide everything from resume writing workshops and interview prep to free haircuts and tips on how to properly tie a necktie.

“In the era that we’re living in now, the importance of business being involved in the solutions for these young people is critical,” said Blair Taylor, CEO of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. “Providing jobs gets someone into a position of economic viability — managing money and responsibility — but also turns these young people into positive role models for others to follow.”

Taylor said there are 5.5 million young people ages 18-24 across the United States that are currently not working and not attending school.

“That is the biggest issue of our time. You can’t take 5.5 million people out of this economy and thrive,” he said.

Tammy Carnrike, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s chief operating officer, said partnering with the Mayor and My Brother’s Keeper is a natural extension of the Chamber’s effort to grow opportunity in the region and infuse the talent pipeline with a qualified workforce.

“We have employers looking to hire. Matching talent to employer needs is what is going to help us continue the momentum in Detroit and Michigan,” she said.

Pointing to the success of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT), a summer employment initiative led by Duggan that helped provide jobs to 8,000 young people this past summer, Carnrike said the business community in the Detroit region is hungry for talent.

Samantha Green, human resources manager for Applebees, said the company participated in GDYT and ended up hiring five employees at the end of the summer. Green said the experience was very positive and Applebees is looking forward to hiring more young people at the Pathways to Success Career Summit.

“We’re very excited to get involved. Our restaurant managers had nothing but positive things to say about our previous hires through these employment opportunities,” she said.

For more information on signing up for the Pathways to Success Career Summit, contact Robert Troutman, director of education and talent programs, at rtroutma@detroitchamber.com or 313.596.0478.