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New Grant Funding Encourages Employers of People With Disabilities

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, through the Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation Endowment Fund, has awarded JVS a $36,400 grant for Pathways to Careers, which helps people with disabilities develop work skills and gain employment in the community. JVS is seeking employers to participate in this initiative.

JVS will use the grant to fund a payroll tax adjustment for any employer who hires a participant in the Pathways program. The employer can then apply the savings from lower payroll taxes to offset the cost of support, tools or special equipment that might be needed to help the individual succeed in the workplace.

“We are very excited about the award and hope this is a stepping stone to expanding the program,” commented Jim Willis, vice president of Workforce Development at JVS. “We want to continue to grow this exciting, impactful program in Michigan, and this grant will help us attract more employers.”

Although the Community Foundation award is not the first time a foundation has supported the Pathways initiative, this award is the first to specifically fund the payroll tax adjustment for participating employers in the Detroit area.

“This grant provides confirmation of the appeal of the payroll tax adjustment to employers,” said Willis. “It reinforces that employers are willing to engage with individuals with disabilities looking for work through innovative programs like Pathways to Careers.”

Pathways interns undergo an extensive discovery process to identify their skills, interests and abilities. Individuals are then matched with employers for 8-12 week internships at no cost to the employer.

JVS is one of four agencies in the country to receive funding from SourceAmerica® to implement Pathways, which is based upon a successful model launched seven years ago in Utah.

Employers interested in learning more about Pathways to Careers may contact Bill Hielscher at (248) 795-8943 or

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About JVS
JVS is an award-winning human services organization that helps people realize life’s potential through a variety of programs to maximize their self-sufficiency. With four main locations in Metropolitan Detroit, JVS helps job seekers jumpstart their job search, provides meaningful services to people with disabilities and helps seniors remain active and engaged. Visit

About the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $870 million through more than 58,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties. For more information, please visit