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In these articles, we showcase the transformative impact of the MADE Institute in Flint, Michigan, led by founder Leon El-Alamin, providing housing and support to individuals transitioning from incarceration. These maroon-painted porches have aided over 1,000 returning citizens by offering vital services and mentorship. Simultaneously, they explore the broader Labor Day theme, highlighting the struggles of 79 million Americans with criminal records seeking employment and emphasizing the importance of reskilling, inclusive hiring, and challenging societal biases for a more equitable workforce.

(Image credit: John Lamb/Getty Images)

In this article, the profound message behind Labor Day is explored, which extends beyond barbecues and the end of summer. It’s a day to celebrate the unwavering spirit of the American workforce and the resilience of workers everywhere. However, amidst the festivities, light is shed on a marginalized group eager to embrace the American work ethic: the 79 million individuals in the United States with criminal records. Despite acknowledging their capabilities, a significant percentage of them face unemployment. This article delves into the importance of reskilling, inclusive hiring, and challenging biases as essential steps toward breaking the cycle of incarceration and fostering a more equitable workforce.


Smart Brief - Prioritizing reskilling, reentry and rebuilding the US workforce

(photos provided by Leon El-Alamin)

This article highlights the MADE Institute’s transformative impact in Flint, Michigan, where the nonprofit, led by founder Leon El-Alamin, provides housing and support for individuals transitioning from incarceration to society. Recognizable by their maroon-painted porches, MADE Institute’s transitional homes have aided over 1,000 returning citizens by offering essential services and mentorship from individuals with personal reintegration experience. The program operates in a community facing economic disparities and the aftermath of the 2014 Flint Water Crisis. Still, it actively works to reverse disinvestment, fostering unity through initiatives like gardening, tech education partnerships with Google, and creating a close-knit, hopeful neighborhood. Leon El-Alamin’s personal journey from troubled youth to community leader underscores the organization’s commitment to positive change in Flint.


Michigan Founders Fund - Rebuilding Flint

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