GM to Invest $50M in Detroit Nonprofit Education and Employment Programs

General Motors Co. says it will invest $50 million into Detroit-based nonprofit programs that expand access to education and employment opportunities and strengthen city neighborhoods. // Courtesy of General Motors

General Motors Co. Chair and CEO Mary Barra joined Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan at the Durfee Innovation Society in Detroit today to announce that the automaker will invest $50 million into Detroit-based nonprofit programs that expand access to education and employment opportunities and strengthen city neighborhoods.

The initiative, launched in collaboration with the city, is part of the automaker’s strategy to promote sustainable solutions through projects that help Detroiters learn, work, and thrive.

Duggan and Barra were joined at the Durfee Innovation Society, a community center in the center of Detroit, by key nonprofit leaders whose organizations recently have been awarded a total of $4 million in grant funding from GM.

“As the home of our headquarters for more than a century, Detroit has always been a priority for General Motors,” says Barra. “We’re invested in supporting a strong future for this community. Our new commitment will help break down barriers and promote growth through education and economic success.”

Duggan says, “GM has been a part of this community for the last century, providing good-paying, middle-class jobs for Detroiters. Today’s commitment by GM solidifies the company’s investment in the people of Detroit, ensuring Detroiters have the skills they need to access these kinds of opportunities for years to come.”

Of the $50 million commitment, key grants made thus far include:

  • $1.25 million to support Human-I-T’s work connecting Detroiters to a comprehensive digital support system that includes internet connectivity, devices, tech support and digital literacy skills to create greater access to education and employment.
  • $1 million to the Detroit at Work People Plan and Community Health Corps to support a multifaceted approach to employment, health, and well-being resources coordinated across the city with key agencies.
  • $1 million to United Way’s Ride United, a mobility initiative that aims to address transportation barriers for workers through ongoing partnerships with on-demand ride services and United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s local social service agency partners.
  • $750,000 to Beyond Basics to provide literacy education for students at Cody and Mumford High Schools and support adults at the Family Literacy Center at Durfee Innovation Society.

“We are honored and excited to work with nonprofit organizations that share our ambition to help Detroit thrive, especially through investments in education and workforce development opportunities for those who call it home,” says Terry Rhadigan, executive director of corporate giving for GM.

Today’s announcement, according to Rhadigan, reinforces GM’s commitment to the city and builds on decades of the automaker’s philanthropy in Detroit. In 2020, GM funded 57 projects across the Motor City that were projected to impact more than 250,000 individuals.

Nonprofits that share in this mission are encouraged to apply for grant funding. More information and application resources can be found here.

In 2020, GM announced a $2.2 billion investment to retool, upgrade, and expand its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, now called Factory ZERO. The renovation represents the single largest investment in a plant in GM history, and once fully operational, the plant will employ more than 2,200 team members in Detroit. Factory ZERO will serve as the launchpad for the company’s multi-brand EV strategy.

Beginning Sept. 20, more than 450 GM employees will volunteer at nonprofits across the city as part of the 10th annual GM Cares Week. During this time, 100 employees will launch beautification projects in Hamtramck near Factory ZERO.