by David Josar DETROIT — As Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick unveiled an innovative job training program Thursday, he continued his drive to compel Detroiters to take more personal responsibility for their lives. The city has plenty of jobs, Kilpatrick said, but too few residents are willing to “get off their porches” and clean up their acts to get them.
“We have to start acknowledging marijuana is a drug,” the mayor said, noting that many people can’t be hired because they can’t pass a drug test. His statement was similar to comments Kilpatrick made in his State of the City address this year, when he implored African-American men to stop the black-on-black violence that has plagued Detroit for decades. Detroit’s jobless rate is about 14.5 percent.
Kilpatrick said that the city’s casinos are hiring thousands of workers, there are thousands of openings for medical care workers in Detroit hospitals and the city itself is trying to hire 300 new cops, 67 firefighters and will need to hire 5,000 new city workers by 2012. “Detroit has jobs — we just need the right people to fill them,” he said.
Detroiters interested in getting training through Kilpatrick’s initiative should contact the Detroit Workforce Development Department at (313) 962-9675 or visit the Web-site www.detroitmi.gov. The new Health Care Career Center is providing free training to city residents to become certified medical care workers, and within 10 weeks they will have guaranteed jobs at the Detroit Medical Center that pay about $12 an hour. Two years ago, 46,000 people had asked the city to help them find work but only 850 people got jobs.