Challenge Detroit gets $230K MEDC grant

Posted on October 16, 2012

Challenge Detroit, a Birmingham nonprofit that recruited 30 leaders from across the country to live and work in Metro Detroit for a year, is receiving a $230,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The two groups announced the partnership Thursday night and are making Challenge Detroit a part of the private-public MEDC’s offshoot LiveWorkDetroit! initiative, which promotes Detroit as a place for college graduates and young professionals to live and work.

“We are pumped,” said Deirdre Greene Groves, Challenge Detroit’s executive director. “Partnering with the MEDC is an honor.”

The inaugural class of 30 Challenge Detroit participants began in September. Participants are living in the city, supported by a $500-a-month housing stipend, and receive a $30,000 annual salary to work at companies such as ePrize LLC in Pleasant Ridge, Quicken Loans Inc. in Detroit and Royal Oak-based Beaumont Health System.

Twenty of the participants are from Michigan. The other 10 hail from Canada and states such as Rhode Island, Arizona and Tennessee.

The MEDC grant will help support programming, leadership development and activities this year and will aid in recruiting next year’s class, Groves said.

Groves said the MEDC grant is for one year, but she hopes the relationship can continue.

“I think it’s a really great opportunity for the community to understand that programs like this are because of partnership,” she said. “That’s something we’re really focusing on.”

Challenge Detroit was previously funded by private money and donations. Earlier this year, the nonprofit announced Donald Foss, chairman and founder of Southfield-based Credit Acceptance Corp., pledged $500,000 to the initiative.

Michael Martinez, The Detroit News