City begins to prepare thousands of Detroiters for jobs at new FCA plant

• City hosts first of what will be more than 200 Detroit At Work Job Readiness Fairs to create a priority candidate list for jobs at new FCA plant
• 15,000 Detroiters already registered for events to become work ready, whether for FCA jobs or other major employers
• Job readiness effort now expanding beyond FCA to other employers

DETROIT - The City of Detroit has begun an unprecedented effort to help thousands of Detroit residents become “job ready” for positions at the recently approved Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) plant on the city’s east side. Since the City closed the deal with FCA, more than 15,000 Detroiters have registered for Job Readiness Fairs being put on by the city’s workforce arm, Detroit At Work.

As part of the City’s agreement with FCA, the automaker committed to interviewing Detroit residents first for every available position for the lifetime of the plant, after it fulfills UAW requirements to hire laid off autoworkers and temporary workers at the plant. The new FCA plant will employ 3,850 people and another 1,100 jobs will be added to the Jefferson North Assembly Plant.

To start building the list of priority candidates, made up of only Detroit residents, the City has begun hosting the first of what will more than 200 Detroit At Work Job Readiness Fairs over the next six weeks. The first fair was held Monday at Second Ebenezer Baptist Church on the city’s east side where an estimated 600 prospective FCA job candidates were screened. A second event is scheduled at Second Ebenezer on Tuesday from 4-8 PM with up to 800 attendees expected. Detroiters interested in attending an upcoming event must register at www.detroitatwork.com or at one of three Detroit At Work centers located around the city.

Because interest has been so high, the City has now committed to helping to prepare thousands of its residents not only for jobs at the new FCA plant, but for a number of other existing and potential new major employers.

“As far as we know, no other city has ever undertaken such an extensive effort to help its residents become prepared for employment opportunities on such a large scale,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Detroit At Work is essentially becoming Detroit’s employment agency for major employers in the city.”

As potential job candidates are screened, Detroit at Work staff and volunteers will help determine if they meet the minimum requirements for hiring at FCA and to be on the priority list of Detroiters. Those requirements include proving Detroit residency, being at least 18 years of age and having a high school diploma or equivalent. Candidates also will be asked to sign a drug-free pledge, since passing a drug test is another FCA hiring requirement.

Beyond screening for these basic requirements, Detroit At Work also will provide attendees with job application review and math and reading tests, similar to what they will experience through the FCA hiring process once it begins this fall.

Job Readiness effort now expands beyond FCA Opportunities
Because the number of Detroiters seeking work at FCA far exceeds the number of jobs available, the Job Readiness fair process will help the city build a database of available workers that also can be provided to a number of other major employers, such as automotive suppliers.

City officials see this process and being transformational to their efforts to get Detroiters into jobs.

“Our goal is to build a database of Detroiters who are ready to work immediately at a number of employers, not only FCA,” said Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation President & CEO Nicole Sherard-Freeman. “After attending one of our Job Readiness Fairs, we will know down to the individual who is unemployed or underemployed, if they are a veteran or have a criminal background, their educational level and more. Ultimately this process we have built will help us to match these Detroiters with available job opportunities or to the resources they need to get their GED or their criminal record expunged, receive training or need access to transportation.”

Opportunities also expected to expand
Mayor Duggan said that beyond the FCA plant expansion, he expects thousands more new jobs to come to the city to support the plant.

“In the coming months, we expect to be announcing a number of new logistic and supplier facilities coming to Detroit specifically to support the FCA expansion,” said Mayor Duggan. “We already are hearing from some of them that they want to be able to pull from a list of job ready Detroiters that we provide them. There also are a number of employers seeking workers today that many of these potential candidates may wish to consider.”

Photos from Monday Detroit At Work / FCA Job Readiness Event at Second Ebenezer Baptist Church in Detroit. A second event is being held today from 4pm until 8 PM at the same church. Attendance at all Job Readiness events must be pre-arranged through www.detroitatwork.com/fca.





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