Need a job? Whitmer’s administration is making it easier to get one.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks to supporters at a rally on Nov. 6, 2022 in Pontiac. (Sarah Rice/Getty Images)

By Kyle Kaminski

January 10, 2024

More than $14 million in federal funding is helping Michigan nonprofit groups to remove employment barriers—including by helping more workers with transportation and childcare.

MICHIGAN—Millions of dollars in grant funding awarded this week through the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is set to lift more Michiganders out of poverty by removing barriers to entering the workforce, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced this week.

“No one should have to turn down a good-paying job because they don’t have adequate childcare or transportation to get to work,” Whitmer said. “These grants will help nonprofits across Michigan continue making a real difference in people’s lives, helping them get clothes, child care, transportation, and more so they can go to work and provide for their families.”

The Michigan Barrier Removal and Employment Success grant program (which was created using funds provided through President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act) is designed to support at-risk Michiganders with securing and retaining long-term, meaningful employment.

And this week, about $14.4 million in grants were awarded through the program to address a variety of employment barriers for Michiganders—including help affording transportation, housing, childcare, clothing, work equipment, training materials, legal services, and more.

State officials said the grant funds were awarded to 27 nonprofits groups to help support the employment (and re-employment) of at-risk and low-income Michiganders—specifically those who are currently working in low-wage jobs but whose households still earn above the federal poverty level, which often makes them ineligible for other assistance or job support programs.

In a statement, State Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Susan Corbin said the recent grant funding will “uplift communities and strengthen Michigan’s workforce,” as well as support a goal to lift 100,000 Michigan families out of poverty over the next five years.

“We are proud to deliver on our mission to close equity gaps and remove barriers to employment that lead to economic prosperity through program like this that create greater opportunity for all Michiganders, businesses and communities,” Corbin said.

The 27 organizations that received grant funding this month include:

  • 70X7 Life Recovery — $422,000
  • Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired — $90,000
  • Detroit African Youth Development Organization — $187,000
  • Detroit Employment Solutions Corp. — $1 million
  • Goodwill of West Michigan — $569,000
  • Greater Flint Health Coalition — $470,000
  • HCB Human Care — $269,000
  • Hispanic Center of West Michigan — $562,000
  • ICCF Community Homes — $360,000
  • International Institute — $324,000
  • Michigan Works! — $2.8 million
  • Mott Community College — $842,000
  • Northeast Michigan Consortium — $233,000
  • Oakland Co. Workforce Development Division — $941,000
  • ODC Network — $1 million
  • PartnerShift Network — $248,000
  • Ser Metro — $280,000
  • Sistahs Reachin’ Out — $559,000
  • Southeast Michigan Community Alliance — $1 million
  • St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center — $366,000
  • United Community Family Services — $437,700
  • Upward Talent Council — $770,000
  • West Michigan Arts and Technology — $272,000
  • Zaman International — $457,000

READ MORE: Michigan invests federal funds to help communities protect drinking water

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  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.



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