(The Center Square) – The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity announced 27 charitable organizations will receive $14.4 million in Barrier Removal and Employment Success Expansion grants.

The grants are covered by the American Rescue Plan Act, as well as the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds. The program will address a variety of employment barriers, such as transportation access, childcare, housing, clothing, work tools and adequate training.

“Funding through the Barrier Removal and Employment Success Expansion Grant will allow nonprofits to uplift communities they serve and strengthen Michigan’s workforce,” LEO Director Susan Corbin said. “We are proud to deliver on our mission to close equity gaps and remove barriers to employment that lead to economic prosperity through program like this that create greater opportunity for all Michiganders, businesses and communities.”

The program specifically target the Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed population, which the LEO office says is generally ineligible or limited in terms of government benefits.

“Supporting employment and removing barriers to employment for the ALICE population will ensure these Michiganders have the ability to afford necessities such as work-related tools or clothing, housing, childcare and transportation, helping them secure and retain long-term, meaningful employment,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, director of LEO’s Office of Employment & Training. “The Barrier Removal and Employment Success Expansion Grant Program will support LEO’s goal to lift 100,000 families out of working poverty during the next five years.”

Organizations supported by the grants include the Detroit Employment Solutions Corp., Mott Community College, the ODC Network and the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance.

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