LISC makes it possible

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) awarded Central Detroit Christian a grant of $100,000 to open and operate a Tastee Freez store located in central Detroit.

LISC is funded by The Skillman Foundation to promote economic development in central Detroit. LISC's program director Vincent Tilford said the Tastee Freez project allowed them to create meaningful work for young prople as well as contribute to community business development. Profitable with easy start up process, the ice cream store was a logical choice.

Nine high school students work at the store, putting in about 10 hours during the school week and earning minimum wage. During the summer, these students will work about 20 hours per week.

Gloria Simms, 16, enjoys working part time at the Tastee Freez, within walking distance of Northern High School where she is a student. "It's fun to work here," Gloria said. "I like making the ice cream."

During their employee training, the students learn to work the ice cream machine and handle the cash register. They also learn how to deal with the public and the necessity of showing up on time and completing tasks responsibly. The young people will take into subsequent jobs the skills and the work ethic they gained here.

Since the Tastee Freez has been slow during the winter months, the store has been subsidized. After the store has been in business a full year, Central Detroit Christian will be better able to assess its overall performance.