Detroit City and Press Detroit Regional Workforce Fund Invests in Putting Detroiters Back to Work

DETROIT — The Detroit Regional Workforce Fund today announced the Detroit Talent Hub as a component of its new workforce ecosystem. The Detroit Talent Hub will serve as an employment and training broker, working with lead employer partners to assess and hire as well as operate an internet portal for sector placement, monitoring and retention services.

The web portal,, connects employers with qualified workers from the Detroit region and local training agencies. With just a few clicks, users will find workers who are qualified, experienced or credentialed to enter the workforce for emerging and growing local, regional or national companies needing or wanting to connect with local talent.

The DRWF has invested $175,000 over two years in the Detroit Talent Hub and has derived a 93 percent retention rate during the test launch.  A number of organizations participated during this period, including ClarusPro LLC, Diversified Construction Services, D.R. Martin Construction, VITEC, Alkebu-Ian Village and the Green Healthy Homes Iniative/DWEJ.

The Detroit Talent Hub grew from the emerging ‘green industries’ sector, and has expanded to include jobs from energy, construction, housing rehab, manufacturing, hospitality, facilities & maintenance, healthcare, health IT, information technology, communications, foodservice, distribution, logistics, call centers, service centers and home health care among others. In an effort to bridge the ‘matching’ gap, the system maintains a database of thousands of qualified workers who are classified as highly qualified, qualified, credentialed or ready-to-work, eliminating significant human resources department time typically needed to evaluate a candidate.

“By leveraging investments from federal stimulus funds, the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund and other local foundations, the Talent Hub will provide a significant piece of the puzzle to put qualified Detroiters and citizens in the region to work,” said Jim Robinson, developer and managing partner for The Detroit Talent Hub. “There is a large pool of talented workers that employers need to source in an efficient and effective manner. The Talent Hub will provide a seamless connection through the web portal to boost employment opportunities, provide a resource for job seekers and most importantly, a connector for employers with jobs to fill.”

“The next wave of industrial innovation and opportunity is here,” said Karen Tyler-Ruiz, director of the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund. “And, it’s based in large part on sustainability — or more accurately, money-saving, health-promoting and natural resource conserving technologies, which Detroit is beginning to capitalize on.”

Already, more than 60,000 people in Southeast Michigan are working to build and provide more sustainable products and services — everything from energy efficient construction to hybrid cars to urban agriculture and green cleaning supplies. This amounts to more than 65 percent of all green jobs in Michigan.

While still only a small part of the overall economy in the region, in metro Detroit these jobs grew by 4.7 percent annually during most of the past decade, even as the overall number of jobs declined. By some estimates, these green industries have the potential to create well over 10,000 additional jobs in the Detroit area within the next few years.

“The good news is that federal, state and local leaders, including government agencies, private firms and financial institutions, philanthropic foundations and community-based organizations, have invested in local partnerships in Detroit, focused on these emerging market opportunities,” said Tyler-Ruiz. “They are working hard to ensure people in metro Detroit have the skills necessary to employment and career paths in clean economy industries. They’ve done this because they recognize that access to talent will be critical to the success of these industries. Detroit can emerge as a leader in developing the industries and talent solutions needed for success in the 21st century. To do so, we need a strong workforce to support the city in the new economy. While more needs to be done to promote investment and supportive policies, Detroit is on its way to seizing this opportunity and reinventing itself as a hub for sustainable industry development and ‘green collar’ jobs.”

The Detroit Regional Workforce Fund is a regional public/private collaborative that promotes regional economic growth through the development of a skilled workforce.

It supports partnerships among employers and workforce development partners, effects change in the region’s strategic workforce vision and aligns public and private resources in new ways around workforce development. Thirteen national and local, public and private investors have committed more than $5.5 million to the collaborative that is operated by the United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

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