City seeks community partners to help long-term unemployed reenter work force; offers performance-based cash incentives


City seeks community partners to help long-term unemployed reenter work force; offers performance-based cash incentives

  • City prepares to launch one-of-a-kind approach to re-engage unemployed residents
  • Community organizations with a history of helping long-term unemployed can submit applications for the first phase until November 7th for services including training, mentorship & more
  • Selected partner organizations will be eligible for up to $2,200 per participant for each program track in milestone-based performance incentives

DETROIT – The City of Detroit is looking to partner with community groups and activist organizations on a program unlike any other in the U.S. that will help long-term unemployed residents get reengaged in the job market.  Participating groups would conduct outreach to identify these residents and connect them to opportunities for education, workforce training and supportive services that can help guide them to and prepare them for new employment.

“There are more than 11,000 unfilled jobs available today right here in the City of Detroit and employers need people to fill them,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We are calling on community organizations that already do this kind of outreach to help us connect with Detroiters who may have given up on the idea of finding gainful employment and breaking the cycle of poverty in their family.”

Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, who has been the Mayor’s point-person on community engagement and helping to lead this new effort, says that the City can’t reach many Detroiters who may have a distrust of government.

“I can tell some people about these opportunities being available to them, but they won’t receive it in the same way they would if it came from someone familiar to them,” said Bettison.  “That’s why we are launching this effort to recruit some of our most trusted voices in the community to help us get these residents onto a path that will help them raise their income and standard of living.”

Applications now being accepted

Starting today, these groups may submit applications to work with the City as “In Detroit Organizations” (IDOs). To become an IDO, organizations must submit applications, which can be found at   In the coming days, the City will announce a series of informational sessions were interested organizations will be able to get questions answered and get assistance navigating the application process.  Organizations that are not yet in the system as city suppliers must complete the supplier registration steps on this site as soon as possible. 

The application window will close November 7th, at which point the City will begin the process of selecting IDOs. 

IDOs will be tasked with identifying long-term unemployed residents from the neighborhoods they’re already doing work in and enrolling them in a JumpStart education or training program. They will also coach and mentor each participant, monitor their progress and identify potential barriers to success throughout the program.  Through the course of the program, the city plans to partner with up 50 IDOs who have a proven track record of working with the long-term unemployed and are qualified to do this work. The application process will close in 28 days. 

IDO minimum requirements:

Applications will only be accepted from those firms demonstrating a minimum of TWO (2) years of experience providing the services requested in the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for projects of similar scope and size.


  1. Applicant must provide proof of experience recruiting and managing meeting participates milestones within the last two years as defined in this NOFA
  2. Applicant must provide a minimum of three active program referrals
  3. Applicants must demonstrate experience working with nonprofits, community-based organizations, and Detroit residents

City Council Support 

This new program is co-sponsored by Council President Mary Sheffield, along with City Council Members at-large Mary Waters and Coleman A Young, II. Council Member Mary Waters said, "JumpStart will give people a leg up and an opportunity to improve their skills and quality of life."

“JumpStart is a difference maker and a game-changer, and I look forward to securing this legislation’s passage,” said City Council Member Coleman A Young II. “In the words of my father, the Honorable Coleman A. Young Sr., there is no problem in this City that a good paying job can’t fix. JumpStart takes Detroit to the Next Level.”

“I am excited to join the Administration and my fellow colleagues for the announcement of this innovative new program which aims to address the high rate of poverty which continues to plague our City. Making the Jump Start program even better, is the fact that we are engaging our local organizations and leaders and entrusting them to do this important work recognizing they are best positioned to connect with those in need,” stated Council President Mary Sheffield.

City to pay performance-based cash incentives

Many of these grassroots organizations have been doing this work for years but will now have the opportunity to be paid based on the successes of their clients. The IDOs will be paid monthly by a third-party administrator as program participants reach milestones, up to $2200 per program each participant completes, for a total of up to $8800 per participant.

An example of this would be a person who is enrolled in a literacy program after failing an 8th grade reading test. The IDO would be paid $300 upon participant’s enrollment, another $300 when they complete the first six weeks of training, another $800 when the participant improves two grade levels in reading and another $800 once they have reached an 8th grade reading level. The participant can then move on to another program track.

Each JumpStart participant has unique education, training, and personal needs; we will work with IDOs to make sure enrollees are on the best path to achieve success, whether they’re enrolled in a part-time or full-time program.

“No matter what kind of future you imagine for yourself, there's only one way to prepare for it: build your skills,” said Nicole Sherard-Freeman, Group Executive of Jobs, Economy and Detroit at Work. “Whether you want a future in one of Detroit's fastest growing industries like manufacturing, construction, healthcare, or customer service, or you want to make the small business dream you have a reality, the economy is changing. We're all going to need more skills than we have now to create the future we want.”

The program will be funded through American Rescue Plan Act dollars made possible by the Biden Administration and is expected to open for public enrollment early next year. 

To become an IDO, organizations must submit applications, which can be found at The application window will close November 4th, at which point we will begin the process of selecting our IDOs.