SAGINAW, Mich., Oct. 28, 2021 — Yesterday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited Saginaw’s YouthDevelopment Corporation to participate in a roundtable focusing on public safety with state Rep. Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw), local police chiefs and community groups. The YouthDevelopment Corporation offers practical, hands-on job training and job placement to those suffering the damaging effects of poverty.

“I was immensely gratified to see Gov. Whitmer recognize the fantastic work that the YouthDevelopment Corporation is doing for our community,” O’Neal said. “The causes of crime and violence are incredibly complex. To stop crime, you need to do much more than lock people up and punish them — you need to make sure that people have the ability and opportunity to make something out of their lives. That’s exactly where an organization like the YouthDevelopment Corporation comes in: They give people the skills they need to prosper so that they can, in turn, contribute to the community and subsequent generations. If we want to improve public safety, then we need not only to punish criminal acts, but change the context that leads to criminal behavior.”

The fiscal 2022 budget that Whitmer signed into law last month provided $500,000 in funding for the YouthDevelopment Corporation’s “Beyond the Walls” project, which will help citizens returning from incarceration acquire a GED, high school diploma and/or associate degree.