- Associated Press - Monday, December 21, 2020

DETROIT (AP) - Fiat Chrysler is contributing $400,000 to a Detroit neighborhood fund as part of a community benefits agreement tied to its new assembly plant on the city’s east side, the automaker said Monday.

The money will fund improvement projects in Detroit’s Chandler Park, West End and Riverbend neighborhoods. Another $400,000 will be contributed in 2021, according to Fiat Chrysler.

Community members and Detroit’s Planning & Development Department determine which projects receive funding. The city put together land for the plant. The community benefits agreement calls for Fiat Chrysler to invest in the surrounding neighborhoods, jobs training and education.

Fiat Chrysler has hired about 4,100 Detroit residents, and most if not all of them will be employed at the Mack assembly plant that is expected to go online next year.

Fiat Chrysler also said Monday that it is contributing $285,000 to the Chandler Park Conservancy to help the nonprofit start construction on a community-based environmental education plaza.

The automaker’s commitment to Detroit goes beyond its facilities, said Ron Stallworth, a Fiat Chrysler external affairs manager.

“Our collective futures will be defined by how we collaborate to transform our neighborhoods, and we are just getting started,” Stallworth said in a release.

Riverbend Association President Jay Henderson said Fiat Chrysler’s financial investment will help jump start needed projects.

“After years of economic neglect, this is the shot in the arm that we need,” Henderson said.

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