Anyone who has ever started a new job or relocated to a different city is familiar with the excitement and anxiety of being the new kid on the block.

Will I be welcome here? What is there to do? Where do I even go for a haircut?

And the 200 plus Ford employees recently relocated into a refurbished hosiery factory in the heart of Corktown are no exception.

Photo: Ford

On Monday, June 11th, Ford employees, Corktown residents, and Southwest Detroit area business owners gathered for a community mixer at The Factory at Corktown.

Hosted by Ford Fund, the Ice Cream Social brought together an intimate group of community stakeholders for an afternoon of live music, locally catered food and beverage, and candid Q&A where longtime residents shared practical advice with new Corktown neighbors.

Check Out These Top 5 Pointers, Tips, and Myths From Corktown Residents To Their New Ford Neighbors:

Photo: Urban Content Studios

1. What’s the best place to take family members and visitors who have never been to the city? You can’t go wrong with a day downtown. From the Riverfront to Greek Town to Campus Martius and all the museums, theaters, and art galleries, in between, there’s always tons to do in downtown Detroit.

Mexican town is vibrant and authentically cultured with amazing food. Belle Isle is a neat little island park between Detroit and Ontario.


2. What Does It Mean To Be A Good Neighbor? Being engaged and dialed in with the community. Get out and get engaged!

3. What’s your favorite, most underrated thing about this city? Food! So many great international food options.


4. What is the most misunderstood thing about working (or living) in Detroit? High Crime. Don’t believe everything you read.

5. What’s the #1 Detroit rule you should always follow? Take Pride in your city and patronize local business. Duly noted!

Photo: Urban Content Stuidos

Amidst the mixing and mingling, the overwhelming tenor of the event was that of anticipation. “These are exciting times for Ford and Detroit,” said Carmen Mattia, Senior Director of the Ford Resource and Engagement Center – Mercado.

Southwest Detroit native and Ford Fund President, Jim Vella shared a similar sentiment as he addressed the room.

“I’ve had a lot of great days in my life, but I’m not sure that I’ve had many that are better than today,”-Jim Vella.

Take a look at highlights from the first of many Corktown community collaborative engagements to come!

Follow us @FRECCITY on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit FREC locations at:

FREC Southwest: 2826 Bagley Ave, Detroit, MI 48216 | PH: 313.962.4888  Ask for Carmen

FREC Eastside: 15491 Maddelein St., Detroit, MI 48205 | PH: 313.733.1240  Ask for Justin


The Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) is a client-directed community center where people can learn new skills, obtain needed services, develop new talents and celebrate community. Made possible by grants from Ford Motor Company Fund, The Ford Resource and Engagement Center brings together non-profit partners to serve the surrounding community. 

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