Senate Approves Levin-Stabenow Amendment to Provide Over $1 Million for Job Training for Michigan Through Sale of Detroit Labor Building
The Senate has approved an amendment sponsored by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) that will provide over $1 million for job training programs in the State of Michigan by permitting the state to keep proceeds from the sale of the Detroit Labor Building on Woodward Avenue. Previous agreements would have entitled the federal government to 55% of the $2.1 million bid that the State of Michigan recently accepted for the building, but the Levin-Stabenow amendment enables the state to keep the money for job training.
"The number of Michigan workers who have been laid off or had their job overseas is growing, while the pot of money states have to give them the training that they need to find new work is shrinking," Levin said. "This funding - appropriately from the sale of the Labor Building - will provide additional resources to get more workers in training programs and help them get back on the job."
"Creating and protecting Michigan jobs and offering retraining to Michigan workers remains one of my top priorities, and I am very pleased that we can direct additional funding to job training," Stabenow said. "This is one of the best uses for funds from the sale of this building, and this will help Michigan workers at a time when such assistance is urgently needed."
The Labor Building, which was completed in 1913, received federal grants from the Department of Labor over the years that, in turn, gave the federal government equity in the building and a cut of 55% of any sale proceeds. When the State of Michigan recently put the building for sale as surplus property, and ultimately accepted a $2.1 million bid, the federal government would have been entitled to its share of over $1 million.
The Levin-Stabenow amendment forfeits the federal government's interest in the equity of the building, enabling the state to retain the full proceeds from the sale. Levin received assurances from the Governor's office, which he chronicled in the Senate record, that the additional proceeds will be used by the state to provide job training grants.
The Senate passed the amendment by voice vote Wednesday night. The amendment was included in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, which the Senate passed today.