Janeé Ayers career has been built by serving the city of Detroit, with an emphasis on working-class families and underprivileged Detroit youth.

Ayers began her career as a City of Detroit employee in the Department of Recreation. Beginning in 1999, she served as an activities coordinator, responsible for the activities of more than 100 Detroit children ages 5-12. Her passion for Detroit’s youth fueled her ability to perform her duties and provide a high level of service to deserving young people, despite the challenges of a city bureaucracy. This experience taught Ayers how City Departments could work more effectively.

Like many Detroiters, Ayers was forced to work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. In 2005, Ayers’ second job was as a teacher and tutor at Detroit’s Millennium High School for alternative education. Working with youth deemed “at-risk” who were failed by the traditional public school system, Ayers found ways to excite her students about learning, resulting in 100 percent of her students graduating and advancing to college. To give them the extra assistance they needed, Ayers also taught standardized test preparation to ensure that college-bound students realized their dream of a higher education.

In 2007, Ayers worked as a mortgage banker for Quicken Loans, providing financial counseling and created customized mortgage programs for first-time home buyers, refinance candidates and home equity line of credit clients. It was there that she became keenly aware of the challenges of homeownership such as redlining and subprime lending, which continues to plague Detroit families years after the market collapse.

Ayers was the youngest officer of the bargaining team of UNITE HERE! As the elected recording secretary, executive board member, political director and shop steward, she was responsible for negotiating contracts with some of the largest businesses in Detroit on behalf of 6,000 employees. Since 2007, in this role, Ayers gained a vast knowledge of issues most pressing to Detroit’s City government, including pensions, healthcare, wages, work conditions, grievances and contractual or workplace disputes. Also in this capacity, Ayers earned the respect of business executives throughout Detroit as a no-nonsense negotiator, focused on the greater good for business and its employees.

Widely recognized for her leadership, Ayers became the youngest Vice President of the Detroit Metro AFL-CIO in 2013, elected by more than 24 union affiliates, including AFSCME Council 25, the City’s largest union.

Ayers is a leader of Detroit’s labor community who maintains a passion for working people, with a keen appreciation and understanding of Detroit’s business community. Her experience in contract negotiation offers a great resource to the Detroit City Council. As a former City of Detroit employee, Ayers understands how City departments function, and should function. And as an educator in Detroit, her focus will always remain on preparing Detroit’s youth to be successful in the 21st century economy.

A lifelong Detroiter, Ayers received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Public Policy from Bowling Green State University, where she was a member of the Dean’s List. She has also served as a Project Excellence Mentor and Student Government Representative, and been a member of the NAACP and the Black Student Union.