LANSING, Mich. – The success of the state’s Community Ventures program is accelerating with more than 2,000 structurally unemployed Michigan residents placed in full-time employment in just under two years since the program’s launch, Gov. Rick Snyder announced today.

The governor announced Community Ventures in March 2012 to help create full-time employment opportunities for structurally unemployed people living in four of the state’s most economically distressed communities: Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, and Saginaw.

“Community Ventures shows what we can accomplish when we embrace innovation and build new kinds of partnerships between the state, private sector and community-based organizations,” Snyder said. “Working together, we are proving that we can overcome employment challenges, forge career pathways out of poverty, strengthen our urban cores, and create new opportunities for all of our citizens.”

The goal was to have 2,000 residents in the program by the end of its second year of implementation, which is September 30. The program is not only meeting its goals, but growing quicker due to employer participation and demand.

To date, 2,166 participants have been placed into employment through Community Ventures with more than 90 employers committing to the program. According to a University of Michigan Ford School Community Ventures report published in December, the average 12-month employee retention rate is 69 percent and the average hourly wage is $11.64.

Launched in October 2012 by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Community Ventures helps eligible individuals pursue career opportunities at Michigan companies. The program connects structurally unemployed residents in the target communities with companies to provide long-term sustainable employment opportunities in full time positions. Community Ventures employers who hire program participants in permanent, full-time positions receive a wage reimbursement grant of up to $5,000 for each employee.

“We are connecting people with employment, training and other job readiness services who have had no or limited employment options in the past,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “There has been tremendous demand on both the employee and employer side, and we are exploring new ways to grow the program and expand its reach.”

MEDC works cooperatively with local community partners to provide extensive post-employment supportive services to Community Venture participants in the targeted communities to help them overcome barriers to employment. These services include: job coaching, transportation, workforce readiness, child care, adult education and more. Additional resources are available depending on the needs of participants.

Detroit resident Travis Butler participated in Community Ventures and successfully landed a job – his first ever – with Detroit Chassis. He receives support services such as transportation assistance and life skills through an on-site career coach.

To view a video on Community Ventures featuring Detroit Chassis and Travis Butler, visit here:

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check, where more than 74,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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