Business, Change Agents, City Transformation, Education, foundations, Get Involved, Giving Back, Job creation, Job Engines, Jobs, News, Training

8,000 kids will find work this summer with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent

Screenshot 2017-02-10 10.25.35

This summer no grass will grow beneath the feet of 8,000 of Detroit’s 14-24-year-old population. They aren’t waiting around to be successful.

Mayor Duggan has again officially started enrollment for Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT), will which provide 8,000 young people in Detroit with gainful employment. Duggan challenged area businesses and foundations to help provide those jobs.

Making the announcement at DTE Energy, which has been a major program sponsor since its inception, Duggan said this year there will be a wider range of career readiness and pathways including:

  • Expanded vocational training
  • Opportunities to earn industry recognized training certifications
  • Career-pathway internships for second- and third-year GDYT youth ages 16 and older.

“GDYT is all about preparing our young Detroiters for their first jobs and ultimately their careers,” says Duggan. “Youth participating in this year’s program will have more opportunity than ever to receive the kind of training and experience that could make them immediately employable.”

The city’s key partners are Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and City Connect Detroit.

Since it launched in 2015, the program has had a marked rate of improvement every year. In its first year GDYT provided 5,600 summer jobs to the city’s youth. In 2016, 8,100 found work.  Before the days of GDYT, smaller independent organizations provided 2,500 jobs a year to the city’s youth.

GDYT youth, ages 14-17, will be paid $7.50 per hour and youth 18 and up will make $8.90 per hour.  Those selected for Career Pathways Internships will earn $9.50 per hour. Participants are allowed to work a total of 120 hours, typically working 20 hours per week for six weeks.

In 2016, GDYT youth had experiences at more than 600 worksites, including 230 employers.   This year’s fundraising goal is $10.8 million, up slightly from $10.6 million last year.

Screenshot 2017-02-10 10.25.19

“DTE Energy and our foundation have provided more than 2,000 summer jobs for young Detroiters in recent years, and we are committed to expanding these opportunities and making them even more valuable,” says Gerry Anderson, chairman and CEO, DTE Energy.  “I encourage other business leaders to join us in supporting Grow Detroit’s Young Talent – it’s a great way to participate in Detroit’s resurgence.”

Companies that participate will get some well-trained interns. Businesses interested in providing summer work experiences for Detroit youth also can register at the GDYT website.

This year, the program will offer vocational training for 550 participants, which is up from just over 400 last year. Youth enrolled in the training component will participate in 120 hours of vocational training over six weeks just as those matched to work experiences.

For many, this will end with certification and lead directly to employment afterward. For those who require more than the allotted time for certification, the city has partnered with several providers that will credit the GDYT youth with six weeks toward certification in their program, also helping to make these youth employment-ready.

GDYT youth, who have work experiences this year that do not offer certifications, will be able to earn skills badges they can produce for prospective employers as proof of their abilities in various areas, including financial literacy, completion of vocational skills training and soft skills training, such as attendance and conflict resolution.

While not every job requires certification, it is important to be able to prove you learned the skills. GDYT youth will get badges to show potential employers as proof of their abilities in areas including financial literacy, completion of vocational skills training and soft skills training, such as attendance and conflict resolution.

In addition to the 550 that will receive vocational training, another 550 GDYT youth ages 16 and older will be placed in career-pathway internships with some of the program’s larger employers.

Any youth who want to apply can do so at Any companies that want to join can learn more at the GDYT website.

Once all interested parties have applied, they will be screened. At the GDYT-sponsored career fairs in May and June they can be interviewed by employers.  Employment matches will be made with a combination of will be made by employer request and random selection

2017 P Orientation sessions preparing successful GDYT applicants for the workplace will take place and include 12 hours of work readiness training at a worksite.

Program Timeline

February 8 – Application process begins at

March – Application process ends

April – Applicants contacted, start of employer match and interview process

May – June – Job readiness training and orientation sessions

Early July – Work experience begins

Among last year’s major GDYT sponsors were:

  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • City of Detroit
  • Community Foundation for SE Michigan
  • Crain’s Communications
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority
  • DTE Energy
  • Employer Partners Matching Funds
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Ford Motor Co. Fund
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • Kresge Foundation
  • MGM Grand
  • Mrs. Marjorie S. Fisher Fund
  • Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation
  • Skillman Foundation
  • Strategic Staffing Solutions
  • Talmer Bank
  • United States Department of Labor
  • United Way for Southeastern Michigan
  • WK Kellogg Foundation

In an ever competitive and complicated job market, the kids and young adults of Detroit have the chance to get both a head start and a laser-focused route to careers. All they need is to be willing and able.

– Photos from Grow Detroit’s Young Talent website

About the Author