Greening of Detroit Partners with Bank of America to Put Unemployed Detroiters to Work in Green Industry Jobs


DETROIT— The Greening of Detroit, through a $200,000 grant  from Bank of America, is putting unemployed and underemployed Detroiters back to work.

Created in 2009, through a “Pathways out of Poverty” grant from the federal government, the GreenWorks workforce development program is designed to provide unemployed Detroiters with valuable job training and certification in the green industry. Bank of America became a funding partner in 2011, helping 71 previously unemployed Detroit residents get the skills they needed to find full-time employment.

”Bank of America is proud to be part of such an essential program that assists individuals in enhancing their job skills,” said Tiffany Douglas, Bank of America’s Michigan market manager.  “Working with The Greening of Detroit, we are able to reinforce our commitment to investing in change in the metro Detroit community, especially in the areas of community and economic development and critical needs.”

The GreenWorks adult workforce development program trains men and women, ranging from 18 to 55+. Twenty percent are veterans. Participants in the GreenWorks adult workforce program are trained for jobs in landscaping, forestry and agriculture.  

“The Greening of Detroit is committed to thoroughly preparing our trainees in all aspects of job readiness,” said Devon Buskin, director of workforce development at The Greening. “We work with multiple partners to make this happen.  We appreciate Bank of America’s support for this program and anticipate ongoing success.” 

Each training session is eight weeks, 36 hours per week, and includes a half-day of job readiness training each week.  Case management services are offered throughout the training.  Upon completion of the training program, participants have the opportunity to take The Greening of Detroit’s landscape exam and the Landscape Industry Certification (LIC) exam.  

Over the past three years, the program has been very successful.  To date:

  • 137 adult trainees have graduated with certificates that include the Greening of Detroit Landscaping Course completion certificate, First Aid/CPR training and certification, and Landscape Industry Certified (LIC) certification.  
  • All 137 graduates have completed a 10-hour landscaping safety course conducted by Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) certified instructors.
  • 21 percent of the trainees have obtained a chauffer’s license through the program.
  • Four of the trainees participated in The Greening’s apprenticeship program, resulting in full-time employment as Greening staff members. 
  • 71 of the trainees have been placed into full time jobs that pay on an average $11.75 an hour.

For more information about The Greening of Detroit’s program, call Devon Buskin, director of workforce development, at 313-285-2239.