DBusiness Daily Update: Amazon Hiring 3,200 for Jobs in Metro Detroit, PNC Bank Gives $7.5M to Future Detroit Housing Fund, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases by county
Courtesy of Bridge, as of May 13

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Amazon Hiring 3,200 for Jobs in Metro Detroit
Amazon has more than 3,200 jobs available, with an average pay of $17 per hour, comprehensive health insurance, and sign-on bonuses in most locations of up to $1,000. Additionally, a $100 benefit will be offered to any new hire who comes to Amazon already vaccinated for COVID-19.

The local hiring is part of a nationwide bid to recruit 75,000 people in its fulfillment and logistics network across the U.S. and Canada as it continues to expand its footprint.

The company offers full-time employees industry-leading benefits, which include health, vision, and dental insurance, 401(k) with 50 percent company match, paid parental leave, and access to various company-funded upskilling opportunities, including Amazon’s Career Choice program, which prepays 95 percent of tuition for courses in high-demand fields.

“We look forward to hiring 75,000 associates across our fulfillment and transportation network,” says Alicia Boler Davis, vice president of global customer fulfillment at Amazon. “Working at Amazon also comes with an unwavering commitment to safety, especially as we continue to navigate a global pandemic.”

Interested candidates can visit here to learn more, see where jobs are available, and apply.

PNC Bank Gives $7.5M to Detroit Housing for the Future Fund
PNC Bank has announced a $7.5 million commitment to creating and preserving affordable housing across the city of Detroit through a major investment in the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund.

Announced by Mayor Mike Duggan last year, the DHFF represents the largest single private commitment to affordable housing in the city’s history. The purpose of the DHFF is to direct private capital to support affordable housing developments in need of gap financing. Since the fund’s launch seven months ago three DHFF projects representing $31 million in total development with a DHFF investment of $7.8 million already have been announced, despite COVID-related and seasonal construction shutdowns.

So far, $48 million of the fund’s goal of $75 million has been raised.

“Development is happening in neighborhoods across the city, but it doesn’t mean much if the Detroiters who stuck with the city during the tough times can’t afford to stay and participate in its comeback,” says Duggan. “PNC Bank’s generous commitment helps ensure that all Detroiters, no matter their income, will have the opportunity to live in any neighborhood they choose.”

The Duggan administration has made affordable housing a top priority as it works to help Detroiters stay in their homes amid increasing rents. The administration set a goal of preserving 10,000 units of existing affordable housing and the development of 2,000 units of new affordable housing through multiple public and private housing initiatives including DHFF.

“Providing critical capital to support the creation of affordable housing in Detroit reflects PNC’s long-term support of neighborhood revitalization, education and economic development in the City,” says Ric DeVore, regional president for Detroit and southeast Michigan for PNC Bank.

The DHFF helps housing developers by providing access to capital and financial products specifically designed to address the challenges affordable housing developers face. It helps to support the preservation of regulated and naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) units throughout the city to keep them affordable, as well as the development of new mixed-income and affordable housing in targeted multi-family housing areas.

Developers can visit here to apply or learn more about the fund.

Rocket Mortgage Classic Tickets on Sale Beginning May 27
General admission sales for the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club, June 28-July 4, will open on May 27 for the third edition of the PGA Tour’s only golf tournament played within the city of Detroit.

In cooperation with government and health officials from the city of Detroit and state of Michigan, tickets are available here for the Delta Dental Pro-Am at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Wednesday, June 30 and each of the tournament’s four competition rounds, July1-4.

“We are grateful for the commitment of the state and city in working with us to develop a smart, safe solution that first and foremost prioritizes the health of the public, but also allows us to welcome back fans to take part in a world-class PGA Tour event for Detroiters,” says Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Cos. “Over the past year we have seen the selflessness of our hometown shine through — and now we are looking forward to putting on an event that will help so many as we all work to end the digital divide in Detroit.”

The Rocket Mortgage Classic has organized three exclusive pre-sale ticket opportunities that are dedicated to 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic customers who either deferred their ticket purchases to 2021, donated their tickets to RMC charitable partners or received refunds.

The only current option to reserve a ticket to the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic is through the tournament’s new “Faces of AREA 313 presented by Priority Health” program, now available at RocketMortgageClassic.com. For a tax-deductible donation of $313 or more, fans can secure a two-day ticket to the event — June 28-29 — and choose to display their own face, or that of a fellow fan, first responder, frontline worker, or loved one lost from the COVID-19 pandemic, on an electronic videoboard or along the hospitality areas within AREA 313, located at holes 14-16 at Detroit Golf Club.

Each pledge supports the tournament’s ongoing “Changing the Course” mission to close the digital divide in Detroit and will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Priority Health, which has committed $50,000 to the initiative. This opportunity is limited and expected to sell out quickly.

Tickets for the Delta Dental Pro-Am at the Rocket Mortgage Classic are $20 while competition round tickets start at $60 for July 1, $70 for July 2, and $80 for July 3-4.

Detroit Pistons, City of Detroit Continue Park Court Refurbishment Projects
The Detroit Pistons, in partnership with the City of Detroit Parks and Recreation Department, announced the impending completion of Phase III and the beginning of Phase IV of the basketball court renovation and refurbishment project in parks throughout the city.

Twenty-three newly refurbished courts are expected to be completed in 15 city parks by end of 2021.

The courts are part of a $2.5 million dollar investment by the Pistons to revitalize 60 basketball courts over a six-year period. The project is one component of the community benefits plan created with the city of Detroit as part of the Pistons’ move back downtown in 2017.

“Our parks initiative continues to expand at a time when it’s more important than ever to give kids and Detroiters of all ages healthy environments to stay active in a safe and responsible way,” says Tom Gores, owner of the NBA team. “We are excited to continue bringing more partners together, adding programming that unites the community and maximizes the impact the parks have on the surrounding neighborhoods.”

Court refurbishments in Phase III include single basketball courts located at Lasher-Clarita Park, MaryAnn Mahaffey Park, 4th and Charlotte Park, and Perrien Park.  A double court was refurbished at Maheras-Gentry Park. Three basketball court refurbishments were made at Romanowski Park and four courts were refurbished at Lasky Park.

Phase IV refurbishments will include single basketball courts at Riordan Park, Lafayette-NYCRR Park, Knudsen Park, Bradby Park, Wish-Egan Park, and AB Ford Park, and two courts each at Peterson Park and Stopel No. 2 Park.

By the end of 2021, 42 courts will have been refurbished at 28 parks throughout the city.  The remaining 18 courts will be completed over the final two years according to the Parks Department’s master plan.

Basketball court refurbishments at each location include repairs to court surfaces and up-to-date rims, stanchions and basketball infrastructure.  Additionally, each court will be repainted with proper basketball court markings and beautified to increase the aesthetic value of each park.  As part of the Pistons’ agreement, the city of Detroit oversees maintenance for the completed courts.

Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for MexicantownCDC Community Galería and Café
Mexicantown in Detroit will gain a cultural destination, public art, and gathering space in Mexicantown’s “Main Street” area through a new crowdfunding campaign, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Mexicantown Community Development Corp.

The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by July 12, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, visit: patronicity.com/mexicantown.

“Multi-use spaces that bridge culture and function are critical to great placemaking,” says Michele Wildman, senior vice president of community development at MEDC. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

This campaign would allow for the completion of the Mexicantown Galería and Café, would provide gallery spaces for art exhibits and performances, as well as a café that would allow community members to grab a cup of coffee, but also to gather for cultural and community events. The Mexicantown Mainstreet in southwest Detroit is one of the only culturally Latino/a main streets in the nation and anchors a rich and engaged neighborhood unlike any other in Detroit.

“We see a near future when we can host culturally relevant music performances, cooking demonstrations and festivals, as well as a range of art exhibits and performances from local and emerging Latino artists,” says Raymond Lozano, executive director of MexicantownCDC. “We proudly serve a Southwest Detroit community of some 70,000 residents with everything from entrepreneurship training to culturally relevant programming of all kinds. We strongly believe that our history and sense of cultural identity is a draw for all communities, and an important part of helping Detroit thrive. This project will only strengthen those efforts.”

State Food and Ag Grants Aim to Spark Growth, Meet Consumer Trends
The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development voted to approve Food and Agriculture Investment Fund grants for four Michigan companies preparing to grow operations, expand product lines, and improve efficiencies. The projects are expected to create several new jobs and increase demand for products grown and produced in the state.

“Michigan has some of the most innovative and driven entrepreneurs in America’s food and agriculture industry, and the commitment they have to their communities is unmatched,” says Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We’re proud to help support these important projects, which not only creates jobs and accelerates growth, but also benefits farmers, producers, and suppliers throughout the state.”

Those receiving grants include:

  • Ackroyd’s Scottish Bakery, Redford Charter Township ($50,000)
  • Carbon Green BioEnergy, Lake Odessa, southeast of Grand Rapids ($85,000)
  • Coulter’s Farm Properties, New Era, north of Muskegon ($75,000)
  • Cultured Ferments Co., Traverse City ($10,000)

Multiple Positions Available at Laurel Park Place
Many of the retailers at Laurel Park Place in Livonia have job openings and are actively recruiting candidates May 19-23.

Stores looking for help at the mall will have a bright yellow “Now Hiring” sign indicating positions are available. Some of the stores with current openings are H&M, Von Maur, Rogers & Holland Jewelers, and White House | Black Market among others.

Applications also can be submitted here.

“We hope anyone who enjoys working with people and is looking for a new opportunity will visit our retailers and apply,” says Susan Hoff, marketing manager for Laurel Park Place. “Job seekers should bring their resume and be prepared to fill out an application.”