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Ford Opens Second Resource and Engagement Center in Detroit

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Jerome Bettis at the opening of the second Ford Resource and Engagement Center in Detroit

Ford Motor Company Fund this month opened a Ford Resource and Engagement Center at the Fisher Magnet Upper Academy in eastern Detroit. The $5 million community center will provide necessary services and opportunities to residents through education, workforce development, and job training.

“Our newest Ford Resource and Engagement Center represents our ongoing commitment to projects in neighborhoods that are transformational in nature,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We want to harness the untapped potential in our schools and neighborhoods to help more people gain access to the benefits of a stronger, more prosperous Detroit.”

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Working with a minimum of 18 area nonprofits, the Ford Resource and Engagement Center will provide services including legal assistance and food distribution, while the available Ford STEAM lab will offer students access to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math education.

“The decision made by Ford Fund to create the Ford Resource and Engagement Center in a traditional public school reflects the reality that there are few, if any, stronger investments to ensure impact, scale and sustainability within a neighborhood or community,” said Nikolai Vitti, superintendent, Detroit Public Schools. “This multifaceted investment will benefit multiple community members and more profoundly, generations. For the school, it allows learning to become more interactive—more community-based and project-based—and, frankly, more relevant for all students.”

The 10,000-foot facility is the second in Detroit and is built to reflect the design of the Ford Resource and Engagement Center in Mexicantown Mercado, and it will be managed by the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. That first Detroit Resource and Engagement Center has returned an estimated $3 in services for every $1 invested by Ford and partnering nonprofits. Last year, Ford also announced plans to open a third Resource and Engagement Center in South Africa.

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