Detroit launches youth employment program initiatives

Updated 2 years ago on October 17, 2022

Detroit - The Youth Employment Program adds initiative and partnership in Detroit.

Grow Detroit's Young Talent program provides summer employment opportunities for youth ages 14 to 24. More than $13 million will be used to provide more than 8,000 summer jobs for Detroit youth.

Two career pathways and financial literacy initiatives include free one-on-one professional counseling on debt, credit and budgeting. Career Pathways Plus, a program designed for older youth, helps them find permanent jobs, says Misty Evans, director of Grow Detroit's Young Talent.

The program also expands the industry-based curriculum to include social media marketing and digital consumer education.

Evans said the new features will expand career opportunities for young people.

"We're giving them money, but we want to let them figure out what to do with it, understand what debt and credit are and how to properly spend those funds," Evans said. "We want to test the kids so they understand that it's a permanent job opportunity in the future."

On Monday, more than 100 young people from Detroit were scheduled to start jobs in various city departments and private companies. Since 2015, the program has employed more than 60,000 young people.

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

"One of my mentors came to me and said it would be a great opportunity because I could take care of my daughter and work from home," she said.

Clarice found a summer job with the Detroit at Work call center, the city's employment agency. The program made finding a job easier, she said.

"I'm thankful for this program because the opportunity to work from home has become easier to get," Clarice said. "If you chose it, you got it, and that's great."

Mayor Mike Duggan said these programs are a way to give back to young people who haven't had a chance to get a summer job.

"If you lived in the suburbs, you may well have found summer jobs, but in the city it was hard to find out," Duggan said. "If you wanted a summer job, you had to call every single company, find out how to apply, and figure it out. And that meant young people in Detroit didn't get the same chances."

The programs work with companies such as DTE Energy, Apple, Verizon, General Motors Factory ZERO and J.P. Morgan Chase.

"Our young people are intellectually gifted and have the necessary skills to make meaningful contributions to any profession," City Councilwoman Mary Waters said in a release. "What was missing was the opportunity to participate in the workforce."

Factory ZERO Executive Director Jim Quick said the partnership gives Detroit youth a chance to get factory experience and help GM produce electric cars.

"We're grateful for the partnership with the city of Detroit and the fact that this year's GDYT participants were able to see firsthand the depth of career opportunities in manufacturing," Quick said. "They can play a real role in building some of our most exciting EV vehicles on the road."

Quick said engaging the community is a goal for GM's future.

"It's very important that we do everything we can to make sure everyone is with us. What better way to do that than to attract the phenomenal talent that our community provides," Quick said.

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