Aug 13, 2019 - 3 months ago
By Supply Post
Windsor, Ontario • Representatives from Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA), its private-sector partner, Bridging North America as well as the State of Michigan and the Government of Canada, unveiled a comprehensive and robust Community Benefits Plan for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.
The Community Benefits Plan is comprised of two components: the Workforce Development and Participation Strategy and the Neighbourhood Infrastructure Strategy. In partnership with WDBA and Bridging North America, more than 30 agencies and organizations will support the implementation of the plan.
The Workforce Development and Participation Strategy is geared toward engaging businesses and providing employment opportunities including workforce development, training and pre- apprenticeship/apprenticeships. There are more than 80 workforce initiatives focusing on opportunities for Windsor and Detroit residents and businesses and Canadian Indigenous Peoples and their businesses. Some highlights of the plan include:
The implementation of a Regional Small Business Purchase Protocol to foster growth of small companies in the region
Partnerships with local workforce development agencies to encourage applications from local applicants for jobs, training and skill development opportunities
Support to pre-apprenticeship/apprenticeship programs and opportunities for Indigenous women, students and youth.
The Neighbourhood Infrastructure Strategy is a $20 million (CDN) direct community investment on both sides of the border developed by public feedback and input. Collectively 29 initiatives are identified in the strategy for implementation in Windsor, Detroit and Walpole Island First Nation. Some highlights of the plan include:
Approximately $8.1 million for aesthetics and landscaping
Approximately $3.5 million for community safety and connections
Approximately $2.2 million for community partnerships
Approximately $1.1 million for economic benefits.
WDBA and the State of Michigan will be directly involved in the delivery of the Community Benefits Plan and will provide stringent oversight to ensure the commitments outlined are achieved and reported on.
Details of the Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan are available at www.GordieHoweInternationalBridge.com.
“The Gordie Howe International Bridge will positively impact the flow of traffic and goods, help businesses get their goods to market, and make it more efficient for travellers, commuters and shoppers to cross the border. In addition to the 2,500 direct jobs Bridging North America expects to be created by the project, the comprehensive Community Benefits Plan announced today will have wide-ranging positive social, economic and environmental impacts on Windsor-Essex and Detroit including targeted workforce development initiatives that will foster training, business opportunities, and local employment for workers including First Nations, youth and women.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“The Gordie Howe International Bridge is yet another historic example of what we can accomplish when we work together to find a solution that benefits everyone. We all know that the people in our communities on each side of the border will be a strong anchor point for this project, which is why this announcement today to invest in these areas is so critical. This is a real opportunity to create thousands and thousands of jobs and strengthen our economic ties with our neighbors to drive growth in the surrounding communities for generations to come.”
- Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer
“The Gordie Howe International Bridge Community Benefits Plan is uniquely ambitious and is a result of significant community consultation held over a four-year period. The plan’s initiatives are designed so that the people located most directly adjacent to the Gordie Howe International Bridge project will be among its truest beneficiaries. The Community Benefits Plan will help to create jobs and better local communities.”
- Bryce Phillips, CEO, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority
“Bridging North America recognizes the importance of partnering with local stakeholders, businesses, associations, unions, First Nations and educational institutions for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. These partnerships will help to strengthen the local economy, create jobs and training opportunities, and ensure the success of the project during its design, construction and operation.”
- Aaron Epstein, CEO, Bridging North America