Reporting Jeff Gilbert
DETROIT (WWJ) - Ford is donating $10 million to boost recreation programs and open a community center in South West Detroit.
“Southeast Michigan is our home,” said Ford Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields. “We want to do our part towards strengthening neighborhoods, and providing support to education, youth employment and other community needs.”
The contribution will help transform the closed Mercado Building on Bagley into the Ford Resource and Engagement Center. It will offer job training and a number of community services, including a food bank.
“This center, we expect, is going to be the hub of entrepreneurship, workforce training, capacity building, arts and culture,” said Fields.
Ford is also adopting the Patton Recreation Center, which will expand from a senior center into a mixed-use facility, which will include programs for young people.
Mayor Dave Bing said this is something that will improve the quality of life in the city.
“Our responsibility to Ford and the citizens here is that we make sure we produce and give you the kind of results that Ford expects to get from the commitment and the investment that they’ve made.”
Bing is particularly enthused by Ford’s donation of two F-series truck chassis, that will be used for ambulances.
“We will see in short order an upgrade in the maintenance of our vehicles,” he said. “We will also see new vehicles on the road. So, as you have problems in the community, our response time is going to be competitive with any other major urban area.”