The largest grant ever in history was recently made by General Motors Co.'s charitable foundation, which will give $27.1 million to a United Way program to enhance graduation rates and put up early childhood learning centers in Detroit.
Over the next five years, this grant to United Way for Southeastern Michigan will support its Network of Excellence program as well as efforts to cut the almost 50% dropout rate at five local high schools in metro Detroit areas where there are very high rates of production job loss in the last few years.
Carolyn Markey, a spokeswoman for the GM Foundation, said that the company is “extremely grateful” to the city of Detroit for standing by GM during the economic downturn.
She said that GM remains committed to help the city strategically to provide short-term benefits as well as in the long-term. She said that by raising graduation rates now, the company hopes to build a stronger workforce in the community.
United Way intends to establish as many as 20 academies from the five schools it will select and to put up five early learning communities for children in kindergarten.
Recently, the GM Foundation had approved a $2 million grant to upgrade two community centers near its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, which currently produces the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid vehicle.