New Jobs Program Aims to Fill the Unique Needs of Gordon Square

Apr 26, 2017

A new hiring program in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood is aiming to encourage local businesses to hire local residents.

The neighborhood on Cleveland’s west side encompasses the Gordon Square Arts District. And businesses there are expected to soon have the equivalent of about 50 full-time jobs available. That spurred officials there to create a job training program that will also ask local businesses to pledge to give candidates from the neighborhood a first-look at open positions. Jenny Spencer, managing director of the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, says their program will be uniquely attuned to the job needs in Gordon Square.

“I could name so many different groups training in manufacturing and training in technology or training in software development. But for our purposes, a lot of the jobs being created are service-based or a lot of them are restaurant-based.”

Spencer adds that the new “Hire Local” initiative is being co-organized with The Centers’ El Barrio Workforce Development program, which also helps people deal with issues after getting hired, such as child care and transportation.

"Anyone in this country who commutes to a job understands that that can be very costly: the cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle [and] putting gas in your vehicle. Here we are in a neighborhood that's a historic neighborhood -- it was settled well over a hundred years ago -- so it's meant to be a walkable neighborhood, and we have walkable jobs being created."

Officials say they hope the program can be duplicated in other neighborhoods.