Bankole: Cindy Pasky scores Detroit on growth, inclusion

Bankole Thompson
City of Detroit Police Officer Jerrod Willis, left, relaxes on his horse as Strategic Staffing Soluntions President/ CEO Cindy Pasky feeds an apple to his horse. S3 has made a three-year commitment to fund the mounted unit through the Detroit Public Safety Foundation.

Cynthia J. Pasky has been a vibrant participant in the economic evolution of Detroit over the years, and has seen its low and high moments. 

Her faith in the city where, in 1990, she started building her global company, Strategic Staffing Solutions, from the periphery into an economic powerhouse, has never wavered.

So, we can’t talk about the multipronged economy of the city without mentioning her contributions as a longstanding employer of labor, with 60 percent of her global workforce being Detroiters. 

In my numerous conversations with her over the years, she always placed the need for good-paying jobs at the center of the city’s economic competitiveness and overall well-being.

With the recovery of the city, the focus tends to lean heavily on attracting and incentivizing outside investors, more than commending and supporting homegrown investors who have made significant investments in the city’s economy long before the dawn of this era.  

Let’s face it. They did not leave the city when it was tough. They remained here, providing much-needed opportunities for many Detroiters to put food on the table for their families.

 “As the city continues its revitalization, it is important that local investors be a part of the mix,” Pasky said. “These local investors have stayed with the city during its hardest times, and now that new opportunities arise it is important that they be assured the opportunity to participate in the city’s continued growth.”

 As one who has observed the city’s struggles and actions over the decades and the present challenges facing a full revitalization, Pasky now has instructive hope.

 “Detroit’s economic outlook is a complete 180 from where it was 10 years ago. There is a continued energy and commitment to keeping Detroit well on course to reclaiming its place among America’s great cities,” Pasky said. “S3 has always been fully engaged in those efforts and remains very optimistic about Detroit’s economic future.”

Yet inclusion and opening up more economic opportunities for underserved communities in Detroit remains a grave concern.  

 “The city has to have a representative workforce downtown, because greater downtown is diverse,” Pasky said. “Diverse teams have varying life experiences and more uniquely understand our customers' needs, which help us to craft solutions differently than any competitor. Diversity is the competitive advantage in a global workforce.”

But Pasky isn’t only concerned about the need to get more people off the unemployment lines back into the workforce. There are still some major issues the city must confront for its economic survival and progress.

“We would like to see Detroiters’ auto insurance rates reduced. We would also like to see a comprehensive regional transportation system finally be approved and created to make it more convenient for individuals to get to and from work,” Pasky noted. “We would like to see continued efforts toward technical and vocational training be provided to Detroiters through both the city and Detroit Public Schools.”

She further stated that initiatives such as “the mayor’s Workforce Development Board, programs such as Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, the expansion of the Randolph Career and Technical Center, and initiatives to assure work opportunities for returning citizens are all important to strengthening job opportunities for Detroiters.”  

And the most important thing for the city to focus on right now, according to Pasky, is to “carefully plan its future through improving its schools, job creation, city planning, and encouraging both outside and local investment.” 

I couldn't agree more about the need for the city to be meticulous in this recovery. After all, it is the spread and increase in opportunities for all that will determine what the city becomes a decade from now. 

Detroit deserves the best.

Twitter: @BankoleDetNews

Catch “Redline with Bankole Thompson,” which is broadcast at noon weekdays on Superstation 910AM.