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Mayor’s Jump Start initiative to re-engage long term unemployed residents draws White House praise

  • Jump Start program officially launches Tuesday, January 31
  • Mayor announces 18 Community organizations selected to provide training, mentorship & more as part of Jump Start training program
  • President Biden’s top advisor over $1.9T APRA initiative joins Mayor, praises program
  • Mayor to tell residents how to access Jump Start and $100M in Detroit at Work scholarship programs during public presentation Monday at 7 PM


The City of Detroit has partnered with 18 community groups and activist organizations on a new program unlike any other in the U.S. that will help long-term unemployed residents get reengaged in the job market. The Jump Start program, which will open to enrollment starting next week, is being funded through American Rescue Plan Act dollars made possible by the Biden Administration.

Mayor Mike Duggan today joined with other city officials and President Biden’s point person on the $1.9 trillion ARPA initiative to introduce leaders of the 18 In Detroit Organizations (IDOs) that were selected through a city procurement process.

The IDOs will be the city’s boots on the ground for enrolling long-term unemployed Detroiters in the mayor’s ARPA-funded Jump Start program.  Each will be tasked with identifying residents from the neighborhoods they’re already doing work in and enrolling them in education or training programs. They will also coach and mentor each participant, monitor their progress and identify potential barriers to success throughout the program. 

Participating IDOs also will be eligible for performance-based incentives of up to $2,200 per participant for each track of the program.  As each IDO client reaches their milestones in the program, the IDO will receive a financial incentive. 

“In the Jump Start Program, participants have a financial incentive to work hard and succeed, and so do the IDOs that are helping them along the way,” said Mayor Duggan. “We really believe that this approach will result in a lot of Detroiters who had stopped trying to find work getting onto a path to gainful employment that can sustain them. We are deeply appreciative to President Biden for create the ARPA program and making Jump Start possible.”

The innovative, results-driven nature of the Jump Start program and other ARPA-funded city programs brought President Biden’s top ARPA advisor, Gene Sperling, to Detroit to be a part of the announcement.

“Mayor Duggan’s Jump Start Initiative to put those who have faced long-term unemployment on a path to a strong, dignified job is a national model of how to deploy President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to address not only the immediate challenges created by the Pandemic but to ensure a more equitable recovery that leaves no one behind,” said Gene Sperling, American Rescue Plan Coordinator and Senior Advisor to the President. “The entire Detroit-At Work Adult Scholarship program is indeed one that President Biden has highlighted as one of the nation’s most innovative, pro-work strategies funded by the American Rescue Plan to build a larger, more skilled, and more inclusive workforce.”

Mayor to provide more detail during evening address Monday at 7PM

The Jump Start program will officially open to enrollment on Tuesday, January 31.  Mayor Duggan will provide enrollment details during a special evening address he will give on Monday, January 30 at 7PM, where he will show Detroiters how to access their share of $100 million in Detroit at Work training scholarships the city is offering.  The presentation will be held inside the 13th Floor Auditorium inside City Hall and live streamed on the city’s website and its social media platforms.

Trusted Voices

A key ingredient in the Jump Start approach is partnering with organizations that already have community trust and already are doing similar work.  IDOs will coach and mentor each participant, monitor their progress and identify potential barriers to success throughout the program.

                Selected In Detroit Organization (IDO)           Districts serviced

  1. International Institute of Metro Detroit                     D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D7
  2. Vincent & Sarah Fisher Center                                      D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D7
  3. Focus Hope                                                                        D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D7
  4. Fit4Life Health and Fitness                                            D1, D2
  5. The Open Door COGIC                                                    D3
  6. TMI Detroit Inc.                                                                  D3
  7. Family Assistance for Renaissance Men                    D3, D4, D5
  8. Alkebu Lan Village                                                            D3, D4, D5
  9. Emerging Industries Training Institute                      D3, D4, D6
  10. The Black Bottom Group                                                D4
  11. Urge Imprint - Detroit Friends and Family                D4, D5
  12. Church of the Messiah Housing                                   D5
  13. Teach Empower Achieve (T.E.A.)                                   D5
  14. Center for Employment Opportunities                      D5
  15. Spectrum Human Services Inc.                                    D5
  16. Detroit Hispanic Development Corp                           D6
  17. Southwest Detroit Business Association                    D6
  18. The People’s Action                                                          D6, D7

“Knowing where to start when you’re ready to get into the job market can be hard, especially for people who have been out of the workforce for a while,” said Nicole Sherard-Freeman, who serves as the Mayor’s Group Executive for Jobs, Economy and Detroit at Work. “To be better at coming alongside our residents, we’re taking community-centered partnerships to the next level.  A stronger, financially supported network of community-based grassroots organizations that have long-standing relationships deep in our neighborhoods is the next frontier in getting thousands of Detroiters on the road to a better job or a new career.”

How the financial incentives will work

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.

Jump Start just one of many ARPA funded initiatives

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.

Jump Start is just one of nearly 100 ARPA-funded initiatives the City is undertaking after developing the plan through nearly 70 community input meetings. Through the Renew Detroit program, the City is also replacing old roofs on the homes of hundreds of low income seniors, doubling the number of grants it provides to Detroit entrepreneurs through Motor City Match, as well as investing tens of millions of ARPA dollars in public safety, parks and recreation, neighborhood beautification and more.  A complete listing with the status of each project can be found at www.detroitmi.gov/arpa 

Mayor Mike Duggan announces the Jump Start program
Mayor Mike Duggan announces the Jump Start program that will be funded with $40 million from President Biden's American Rescue Plan Act. Gene Sperling, American Rescue Plan Coordinator and Senior Advisor to President Joe Biden listens in.
Gene Sperling, American Rescue Plan Coordinator and Senior Advisor to President Joe Biden
Gene Sperling, American Rescue Plan Coordinator and Senior Advisor to President Joe Biden talks to representatives of the In Detroit Organizations that will be helping the city engage long-term unemployed residents to get them on a path to employment, as Mayor Mike Duggan listens.
Negus Vu (center) of The People's Action
Negus Vu (center) of The People's Action shares the work his organization will be doing with Jump Start. The People's Action is one of the 18 In Detroit Organizations that will help to engage long-term unemployed residents. As part of the Jump Start program, IDOs can receive performance based incentives as their clients succeed.