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Keep Pace with Detroit’s Economic Recovery | Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren

Keep Pace with Detroit’s Economic Recovery

Give Students Multiple College and Career Pathways after High School

What We Know
Our local economy depends on well-educated graduates—to fill the available jobs, to help invent new ones, to earn enough money to support themselves and raise families, and to pay the taxes that allow Detroit to provide a range of public services to the community, from schools to police and firefighters. The benefits go beyond financial. Better-educated citizens are less likely to be arrested, more likely to vote, and more likely to be healthy.

Detroit needs more jobs and more graduates who are prepared for those jobs. Detroit has only one job for every three residents, far lower than comparable cities. Three-fourths of our jobs are held by nonresidents. Our employment rate lags Michigan and other U.S. cities. A better-educated workforce attracts employers, but the city’s educational attainment is very low. Only 12 percent of Detroiters have a four-year bachelor’s degree, although about 40 percent of jobs require one. And because a four-year degree isn’t for everyone, we
need to ensure more youth have access to industry-recognized degrees and credentials.

We want all Detroit students to graduate from high school with a career plan and to enroll in college and/or career programs with the skills to persist and graduate.


  • Ensure every high school has a college and career pathway program, and expand the number of industry-aligned career and technical education opportunities available to Detroit students by increasing funding for equipment and removing barriers to participation.
  • Engage employers to ensure students in all grades receive age-appropriate exposure to a variety of
    jobs and careers. Ensure all high school students experience real jobs in and out of school through co-ops, internships, summer jobs, and related efforts.
  • Centralize information on co-ops, internships, summer jobs, and related efforts so that high school students are aware of workplace opportunities.
  • Expand college and/or career counseling, by increasing the number of counselors and offering a summer institute for incoming DPSCD and charter school freshmen. Michigan’s counselor-student ratio is less than half the national recommended ratio of 1:250.
  • Establish a Higher Education Compact to strengthen the role of post-secondary institutions in student success. This effort will be led by Detroit Drives Degrees, a Chamber-led collective impact effort that aims to reach 60 percent post-secondary credential attainment in Southeast Michigan by 2025.

Students need to come to school more often instead of skipping, going out, smoking, and things like that. I think that other students should tell their friends to come to class, we are trying to graduate and do things with our lives.

Donte Love

MLK High School Student