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Vacant Building Will Get $2M Renovation to Create North End Workforce Readiness Center

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The building will house job readiness and financial training services

A vacant building in the Detroit's North End neighborhood will undergo a $2 million renovation and expansion. Once completed in September, the building, located at 2777 East Grand Blvd., will be the North End Workforce Readiness Center and will house Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit’s Flip the Script and Center for Working Families programs.

Goodwill Industries made the announcement today, in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase, Vanguard Community Development Corporation, The Kresge Foundation, and Detroit LISC.

O’Brien Edwards Construction, located next door to the project site, has been hired as the contractor in charge of renovating the 10,000-square-foot building. The company will also provide transitional work experiences, offering Flip the Script students with on-the-job training opportunities.

Chase brokered the partnership with Vanguard, the building owner, and is investing $1 million over the next two years into the renovation and operation of the new facility.

Kresge is contributing a $750,000 grant and Detroit LISC will provide construction financing for the project to bridge long-term funding commitments from local foundations and complete the build out.

Flip the Script is a self-empowerment program designed to put Detroit/Wayne County’s at-risk men and women to work by breaking down employment barriers such as literacy, GED certification, and job skills. The Center for Working Families program is a financial training model that provides financial services including financial coaching, financial planning/budgeting, and workforce and career development opportunities.

"LISC is pleased to be able to offer financing to ensure that the construction of the North End Workforce Readiness Center is completed in time for its grand opening in the fall," said Tahirih Ziegler, executive director of Detroit LISC. "It is gratifying to see two of our community partner organizations, Vanguard and Goodwill, collaborate to increase accessibility to training services in one of LISC’s targeted neighborhoods where there are still too many families struggling to find employment and stabilize their financial circumstances."