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Grace in Action collectives provide job/skills training in Southwest Detroit

Grace in Action, a church based in southwest Detroit, is making a name for itself not only because of its religious activities, but also through a handful of collectives that are teaching Detroiters workforce and entrepreneurial skills.

The church, which aligns with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has three collectives that help take both adults and young people to the next stage of their professional lives. The Accion Cleaning Cooperative is working with five adults to create careers in the cleaning industry. The Radical Production and Stitching up Detroit are working with youth to develop skills in a variety of design industries, along with other life skills.

"It's a big focus on the next chapter of life and where they want to go," says Meghan Sobocienski, director of Grace in Action. "Through that we are learning leadership and conflict resolution and time management skills and stuff like that."

The Radical Production collective focuses on teaching young people things like graphic and web design. A dozen teens are learning skills in each industry, along with how to handle the project management and workflow that go with it. The Stitching Up Detroit collective works with t-shirt design through a screen-printing workshop. So far 10 teens are working on it, participating in things like the Detroit Design Festival. One of the students, a 16-year-old, is also learning the basics so he can set up his own screen-printing shop.

"We want to expand each collective to about 15 people," Sobocienski says.

Source: Meghan Sobocienski, director of Grace in Action
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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