Detroit Regional Chamber > Chamber > Detroit launches initiatives in youth employment program

Detroit launches initiatives in youth employment program

July 13, 2022

The Detroit News
Shawntay Lewis
July 11, 2022

Detroit — A program for youth job opportunities is adding initiatives and partnerships in Detroit.

Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program provides youths between the ages of 14 and 24 opportunities for summer jobs. More than $13 million will be used to support over 8,000 summer jobs for Detroit youth.

Two initiatives to steer career paths and offer financial literacy include free one-on-one professional counseling on debt, credit, and budgeting. Career Pathways Plus, for older youths, helps with permanent employment opportunities, said Misty Evans, director of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent.

The program also is expanding the Industry-Led Training to include social media marketing and digital consumer education.

Evans said the new features will advance career opportunities for youths.

“We give them money, but we want to give them the ability to understand what to do with it, to understand debt and credit and how to spend those funds the correct way,” Evans said. “We want to vet the kids to get them to understand that this is a permanent employment opportunity for the future.”

More than 100 Detroit youths were scheduled to start jobs Monday at multiple city departments and private companies. Since 2015, more than 60,000 young people have been employed through the program.

Mata Clarice, 22, of Detroit grew up in foster care and used Grow Detroit’s Young Talent to find a job.

“One of my mentors came to me and told me that this would be a great opportunity because I would be able to take care of my daughter and work from home,” she said.

Clarice found a summer job at the call center for Detroit at Work, the city’s unemployment agency. She said the program made the job search easy.

“I thank this program because the opportunity for a work-at-home job was easier to get,” Clarice said. “If you pick it, you got it, which is awesome.”

Mayor Mike Duggan said the programs are a way to give back to youths who were not getting opportunities for summer employment.

“If you lived in the suburbs, you pretty well could find a summer job, but in the city, it was hard to figure out,” Duggan said. “If you wanted a summer job, you had to call every individual company and see how to apply and figure it out. And that meant young people in Detroit weren’t getting the same chances.”

The programs partner with companies that include DTE Energy, Apple, Verizon, General Motors Factory ZERO, and J.P. Morgan Chase.

“Our young folk are intellectually gifted and have the skill sets to make meaningful contributions in any profession,” said City Councilwoman Mary Waters in a release. “What was missing were opportunities to participate in the workforce.”

Factory ZERO executive director Jim Quick said the partnership is a chance for Detroit youths to gain experience in the factory and to help GM produce electrical vehicles.

“It’s an understatement to say how grateful we are to partner with the city of Detroit and help this year’s GDYT participants experience firsthand the depth of career path’s available to them in manufacturing,” Quick said. “They can play a real role in putting some of our most exciting EVs on the road.”

Quick said tapping the community in the workplace is a goal for GM’s future.

“It’s important that we do our part to bring everybody along with us. What better way to do that than by engaging the phenomenal talent that our community provides,” Quick said.

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