On January 26, 2012, the Earn and Learn program held a small launch event to acknowledge all of the partners that helped make this groundbreaking program a reality.
People began to arrive at Mexican Village around 4pm.
(left to right) Hassan Bazzi, Job Development Coordinator – Earn & Learn at ACCESS Employment & Training; Linda West, Director, Earn and Learn at Southwest Housing Solutions; Mae Yousif-Bashi, Multimedia Communications Specialist at ACCESS.
John Van Camp, President, Southwest Solutions welcomed everyone to the event and began the program.
SEMCA CEO, Gregory Pitoniak thanked the program partners for including SEMCA in this innovative program.
Elliot Forsyth, Vice President and COO, Workforce Development Agency, State of Michigan spoke about how this program will help lift people out of poverty.
Benita Melton, Program Officer, CS Mott Foundation was also representing Open Society Foundations that night. She talked about how the C.S. Mott Foundation chose to fund this program because it is targeting an under served population.
Carol Goss, President, CEO, The Skillman Foundation spoke about their mission to serve children and how when they talk to children in Detroit, the first thing most kids will say is that they wish their parents could find a job. This program will help 1,000 of those unemployed parents.
Hassan Jaber, Executive Director, ACCESS spoke about how this program fits in with their mission to serve everyone in need.
Tim Duperron, COO of Focus: HOPE spoke about the exciting opportunities and challenges that this program will bring.
Earn and Learn graduate Tim Coates is welcomed to the podium by John Van Camp, President of Southwest Solutions. Tim spoke about how the Earn and Learn program has changed his life.
Program graduate Tim Coates spoke to the crowd about how he had made mistakes in his past, but he “was ready for a change and looking for the chance to change.” Click here to read his full speech.