Detroit, Jose Reyes Jose, Director Of Workforce And Community Development discussed on Daily Detroit

Daily Detroit


Detroit has a talent gap and and a skills gap and this isn't unique to the city. It's impacting the region and the state as well. So how do we get people to work. What are some of the things to be done about it and how to do it under the current system which as much as some wanted to change it? It's the world. We live in right now without saddling people with puns of debt. Jose is the Director of workforce and Community Development for Washtenaw Community College. And as someone who's both dealt with the city directly a former job at a Detroit based nonprofit and now now working for a community college regionally he brings an interesting perspective. That conversation from the Detroit Policy Conference right after we think our members on patriarch who make the show possible symbol like Alvar. Your support really matters and thank you so much. He joins Colin Mike. Cathy and others at Patriotair Dot com slash daily Detroit so without further. Ado Jose Reyes Jose. Welcome to daily Detroit. Thank you pleasure to be here so I wanted to talk to you. Because workforce development like workforce. That's a fancy word for getting people jobs right well. It's actually more than that okay. Let's talk about that. You know workforce development. I think in some respects Max that is just getting folks. Jobs is the most cursory understanding. Okay workforce development really is understanding the supply and demand chain and again think about it workforce development is based on employer demand supply and demand chain the job seekers out of talent supply and so in the employers are where the demands are in for the skill sets and so for me is a eco-system with the educational provider somewhere in the middle In terms of Skilling up individuals so what is the state of that demand right now in our region is not just in our region I would say even nationally we have two issues at bay day. One is the skills gap which has been referred to as individuals. They're currently in the labor force. Not Matching up to where the new jobs and new technology is taking the jobs that they currently have so employers are looking how to skill up there individuals that they currently have in the talent pipeline. But at the same time we we also have a talent gap which is simply we have folks that are trickling out of their jobs as they are being you know reaching age of Retirement and whatnot and and we don't have enough folks coming into the talent pipeline and so those individuals eighteen to twenty nine we. Detroit in particular has one of the lowest labor participation rates of anywhere in the nation. Wow Yeah so you're talking. Forty seven percent labor participation. A healthy a City probably show where between sixty five to seventy percent labor participation. That's kind of stunning. Why is that well? I think part of that. We're looking at what's going on. Maybe at this city city of Detroit level within the city. Is that you also have epidemic poverty. You actually have the highest poverty in city of Detroit without any any regard for any other city There's no other city in America that has higher poverty than the city of Detroit. And so we think about that has huge what I call residual effects so again folks are poverty. Don't necessarily get the educational opportunities and as such we have generational cycles of poverty have continued Y also. No and I hear this from my listeners. All the time. There's a lot of people that either that are rather frustrated with the amount of debt that they're carrying and then also looking at opportunities going. Well am I going going to have to go and get like a huge amount of loans to be able to become you know more employable and to me. It feels like there are a lot of opportunities. Enfield's that maybe wouldn't take much so that's an interesting point. So one of the first things is that for folks that are outside the labor force career pathways and understanding of career. Pathways is huge. One of the things I did as the CEO of Detroit and point solutions was actually invest into technical Education Centers in partnership with Randolph Technical Education Center was the first place that I actually worked on trying to create a polytechnical school. That would the open for the youth during the day but in the evening be open to the adult so the parents in those communities because this is generational from this standpoint so we wanted to make sure that folks understood where these career pathways are and then provide equity track for them to actually obtain the the skill set that they need it and again I think you know you know we talking off off off the Mike you know. When we're dealing with folks me this opportunity because again to unite somebody with a better quality of life? We know jobs in the economic wellbeing are two critical factors to be able to achieve that quality of life that individuals in their family deserve. And so we wanted to be sure that we can give folks those opportunities and I think there is this well always been this conception that to obese. Assess what you got to go to college in the bottom line is you can make a six figure salary without having six figure debt if you were to go into a skill trade great like an apprenticeship for you know for skilled trades like a pipe fitter carpenter because there's still a demand is more of a demand today than it was. There's so much demand Matt I mean think about specifically in my north neighborhood there now trucks and crews from other states coming to work on homes and to me. It's kind of crazy crazy. I mean I. It is the concept of journeyman right because people they travel for this work but it is predominant. It is something where I'm looking there going. Wow wait a second. That's a broke broke Brooklyn area code. I look at the plate and I'm like. Oh Wow that's Philip like Pennsylvania. What are they doing? Working on House rehabs in the city of Detroit but I talk to be live and talk to the people doing it. Some of them are not major project. Owners they're just a couple from somewhere or whatever they're like we could not get workers or people would tell. Tell me there's a six month. I had something done on the house. I live in and the contractor literally said well I can see you again maybe in June on and that is just not going to work for People Jeremiah spoke to that in real detail. which is you know? The construction skilled trades is really a agile group of individuals. They go there where the projects are with opportunities are and so you know I think you know Detroit at point time when it was you know. Detroit prior to World War or two was one of the richest cities in the world and one of the largest is still right. One hundred thirty nine square. Miles is one of the largest cities in America as well. But you know I think thinks some things have happened. Pulse war to that out on the economic downturn as a result a lot of our construction skilled trades journey. Men's went to where those opportunities were or we're at that time so some went down to the state of Texas and started to build up those areas as Atlanta came on so we lost a lot of that skilled trade Labor Labor that we had and they went to the where the opportunities are now. Because the city is in this resurgence and it's building itself up in reinventing itself it now l. has need for that talent. You know we saw it with district. Detroit when I was in the workforce a Detroit Employment Solutions You know we have twelve thousand folks come through our portal looking for opportunities construction skill traits so as more you know opportunities for development go on more and more folks get that idea that hey I want to be part of that well and it's not just limited to construction I mean I see companies like quicken and IT companies technology companies. All trying to hire and find people and and I mean a lot of them are having a heck of a time doing it. You know it's funny. You mentioned that you know one of the things that I did once. We got the what we call the Detroit Register Apprenticeship Program Program or D wrap as it was affectionately known as underway the other piece I looked at as we're the we're the hot jobs were it healthcare and so we started looking at. Can we apprentice size those opportunities in a way or create special initiative. So one of the things we did was create tech higher. It was actually a initiative by the of Obama Administration but we took some anchor employers that were in the region that had technology needs and did eight week boot camps. We then spun off of that and I call.

Coming up next