BY DANIEL CHERRIN — Building on Henry Ford’s legacy of innovation and investment in southeast Michigan, in addition to the success of the Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) in southwest Detroit, the Ford Motor Company Fund launches today, a second FREC on Detroit’s east side of Detroit at Fisher Magnet (FREC D2).
The first FREC opened in southwest Detroit in 2013 and has assisted more than 80,000 people, returning $3 to the community for every $1 invested. In late 2016, Ford opened a FREC in South Africa, offering job training, entrepreneurial development and services for families and orphans impacted by HIV and AIDS.
With a $5 million investment from Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, FREC D2 will accelerate Fords committment to supporting Detroit neighborhoods and significantly expand the services and programs that have helped thousands of local residents in the region.
FREC D2 is located at Fisher Magnet Upper Academy, a middle school in the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) in a 10,000-square foot facility with a 105-person occupancy. It features interactive, collaborative workspaces. The centers main hallway was converted into a hub of social mobility by modeling a city block featuring small businesses, offices and neighborhood services.
FREC D2 began serving the school and local neighborhood earlier this year. Programs have included a career day, legal clinic and food distribution programs.
Ford is working with non-profit partners, such as Gleaners, community leaders, Detroit Public Schools Foundation and Detroit Public Schools Community District to provide opportunities for local students and families. In addition to DPSCD, Ford is working with Detroit Public Schools Foundation, non-profit partners and community leaders to provide opportunities and services for local students and families.
FREC D2 offers programs and services organized around basic needs, economic growth and quality of life. Specific programs will focus on job training and entrepreneurial skills; workforce development and placement; food distribution; and legal services. There will also be educational workshops on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), and Design Thinking, an increasingly popular problem solving methodology.
Companies, specifically social entrepreneurs that will be working out of FREC D2 include:
- The Commons (For-profit)
- IC Datacom Urban Innovation (For-profit)
- Rebel Nell (For-profit)
- NOiR (Non-profit)
- STEM Girl Social Network (For-profit)
- Caravan (For-profit)
- Building Community Value (Non-profit)
- I Am Young America (For-profit)
- Pro:up (For-profit)
- Bandhu Gardens (For-profit)
- Bing Youth Institute (Non-profit)
- Ideal Technology Solutions (For-profit)
Other nonprofits will provide programmig on site at the FREC, including:
- Detroit Public Schools Foundation (Lead Partner)
- Eastside Free Legal Clinic
- Gleaners Community Food Bank ofSoutheast Michigan
- SER Metro-Detroit, Jobs for Progress, Inc.
- Accounting Aid Society
- Matrix Human Services
- Invest Detroit Group Ventures
- University of Michigan – Center for Entrepreneurship
- Southwest Solutions
- Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI)
- Journi – STEAM Lab
- The Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation
- Girl Scouts ofSoutheastern Michigan(GSSEM)
- Bing Youth Institute
- St. JohnHospital & MedicalCenter –St. John Providence
- Lomas Brown Junior Foundation
- Arts & Scraps