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“Hire Detroit” Campaign To Tackle City’s Unemployment

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(Photo Credit: Stephanie Davis/WWJ Newsradio 950)

(Photo Credit: Stephanie Davis/WWJ Newsradio 950)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – The City of Detroit has launched its plan to help thousands of residents find jobs… and the effort is getting support from the Obama administration.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez stood side by side with Mayor Dave Bing and other city leaders for the rollout of the “Hire Detroit” campaign. The goal is to get area businesses to hire at least one qualified, unemployed Detroit resident. Labor Secretary Perez says the jobs are out there.

“I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the employers who’ve stepped up, whether it’s Quicken Loans, whether it’s so many others. Manufacturing, we have great opportunities here in Detroit, and I spent time with community college leaders to talk about that. There are jobs here,” says Perez.

City officials say they plan to get 25,000 Detroit residents back to work next year.

Secretary Duncan says, “We all want to do everything we can to be a good partner to the hard work going on here in Detroit. And to make sure that this city can come back, that folks have a chance to work, to have not just a job but a career. And this partnership with the Department of Labor, with folks here locally and with the state, we all have to work together.”

And Duncan tipped his hat to a federal program that can help Detroit in the long run.

“A couple of opportunities coming down the line, including a $100-million career connect program that we would strongly encourage folks here to look at to redesign high schools to think about the jobs of the future,” says Duncan.

Detroit’s jobless rate is nearly 18% — a rate that doubles Michigan’s rate. More than 65,000 Detroit residents are currently seeking work.

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