For our first challenge of the 2022-2023 program year, we were excited to partner with Detroit at Work, the City of Detroit workforce development agency, powered by Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, a Michigan Works! Agency. Five teams of Fellows worked collaboratively with Detroit at Work (DaW) and the Community Health Corps (CHC) staff as well as community stakeholders to deliver this project – learn more from the perspective of each team! 

Our design question was, “How might we better understand the community partner landscape in order to ultimately reach more Detroiters?”

When speaking to our stakeholders, we heard that “There is a huge need for community partnerships between Detroit at Work in external stakeholders” – Jason Spann, DESC Business Service Representative. We heard there was a lack of coordination between Community Health Corps and Detroit at Work. We worked to bridge the gap in identifying partners within the two organizations. We also heard from our stakeholders that it’s imperative to meet community members where they are. Our team also heard from the stakeholders on gathering resources through word of mouth, improving trust and communication between DaW and Partners and DaW with residents in Detroit.

One of the most interesting parts of our project was learning how passionate the partners and employees were about their work. Highlighting their work is important, and learning about how they meet the community’s needs was invaluable. We are extremely grateful for this experience. It has been a pleasure working alongside Detroit at Work and learning the diverse resource it offers the citizens of Detroit. 

Written by Fellow Team: Jaylyn King, Caroline Reed, Jo’Charta Rogers, Nathan Schooner and Livia Stine