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Duggan talks job creation, COVID vaccination expansion and opportunities for Detroiters during address

Mike Duggan
Posted at 6:01 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 21:30:53-05

(WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan applauded job growth and opportunities made available to Detroiters while delivering his 8th State of the City address inside the FCA Mack Engine Plant in Detroit Tuesday evening.

RELATED: Duggan announces Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be distributed at Northwest Activities Center

"In Detroit, opportunity is rising," the mayor said. His annual speech focused on residents gaining jobs in the city, the COVID response, as well as opportunities being created for Detroiters ranging from scholarships, training for trade jobs and high school completion programs

Creating equity for residents was stressed during Duggan's speech. Duggan said that's done by eliminating barriers that keep Detroiters from getting and maintaining jobs, and focusing on how transportation plays a role in that. Duggan mentioned how the Biden administration played a role in making transit more accessible in the city by providing 80 new buses for the DDOT fleet.

Prior to the pandemic, the city's jobless rate was around 7-8%. It peaked in May at 39.4%, and in December, it was still high, just above 20%.

Deputy Mayor Conrad Mallett said earlier Tuesday that Detroiters would hear about the People Plan, the way the city plans to address the poverty rate.

"We believe that the people plan, which is an investment of $50 million over the course of five years, is going to help us achieve that goal," Mallett said.

Mayor Duggan announced during his address that since the announcement of the People Plan last year, $6 million of a $50 million goal has been raised to create opportunities for Detroiters as it relates to community health, high school completion, learning a trade, and support for those with a criminal record.

Duggan said that the COVID shutdown will likely end in a "matter of months." He also assured residents that the city will continue to build on their pandemic response, unveiling a new vaccination site for the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

He predicts that vaccines will be available to everyone by May, which is in line with President Joe Biden's prediction which was announced during a presser in early March.

Most people though have been focused on the COVID-19 recovery.

The pandemic not only led to closed businesses in Detroit, but also closed the three casinos which bring millions in revenue to the city.

As for COVID-19, the city has had the mass vaccination site at the TCF Center, where more than 100,000 doses have been administered, with more on the way, and a second site for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Duggan said 2,000 people experiencing homelessness have been vaccinated, he also discussed supportive housing and a goal to bring in $100 million for rental assistance for those facing evictions during the pandemic.

Watch a replay of the mayor's full State of the City address above.