It’s an understatement to call 2020 a challenging year, but challenging it was nonetheless for many throughout Detroit. While restaurants and businesses struggle amid fleeting relief, some of Detroit’s largest players have stepped up to donate to community organizations, non-profits, and development projects.
Early in December, General Motors and the Detroit Regional Chamber announced their NeighborHUB grant winners, bringing funds, PPE, and more to several nonprofits. Before this, during the darkest days of COVID-19, automakers stepped up to manufacture much-needed PPE amid a shortage of supplies in what was called an Arsenal of Health, while others even began working to build more ventilators.
Putting money where it’s needed most, Fiat Chrysler (FCA) is the latest player to invest further in projects throughout the city, working with community members and city officials.
“FCA’s commitment to Detroit goes beyond our facilities,” shared Ron Stallworth, External Affairs Lead for Wayne County, FCA in a press release. “Our collective futures will be defined by how we collaborate to transform our neighborhoods, and we are just getting started.”
As part of the announcement, $400,000 of the donated funds will go to the Impact Neighborhood Fund for improvement projects in the Chandler Park, West End and Riverbend neighborhoods. The other $285,000 will go to to the Chandler Park Conservancy, which will assist the nonprofit organization in constructing Detroit’s first-ever community-based environmental education plaza.
“We all understand that a community that doesn’t invest in itself is a community in trouble,” said Jay Henderson, president of both the Riverbend Association and the Detroit Police Department’s 5th Precinct Community Relations District Council, a community group made up of neighborhood associations and block clubs located in the 5th Precinct. “This kind of financial investment from FCA will help jump-start needed projects. After years of economic neglect, this is the shot in the arm that we need.”
“Together, with FCA, we’re helping address the inequities of park amenities between the city and suburban parks,” added Alex Allen, president, and CEO, Chandler Park Conservancy. “The project supports our triple bottom line, offering social, environmental, and economic benefits to eastside residents. FCA is enabling us to complete our vision for this space.”
ADDITIONAL INVESTMENTS FROM FCA
The investment into Detroit’s Eastside is not the first act of investing in Detroit for FCA, as the automaker has also worked to invest in the following:
- $4 million to build an education-career pathway for students and residents with the creation of a Manufacturing Career Academy at Southeastern High School
- $5.8 million in state funding to workforce development and training
- $1.8 million for the home repair grant program
- $1.4 million for various environmental projects throughout the east side
As Detroit leaves 2020 behind, 2021 should see a continuation of this spirit of community investment and support for Detroit’s largest businesses and corporations. Coronavirus or not, a city that helped drive the nation, deserves the support of the business it helped grow tall.
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