Detroit Seeks Young Professionals for Revitalization Fellows Program


DETROIT — The Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program is looking for a few more good men and women to help advance the renewal of Detroit and build upon the ongoing success of its 2011-13 cohort. In 2011, 650 young professionals from across the country applied for 29 opportunities to move to Detroit and work for a variety of local organizations. Those fellows have made significant contributions to their employers, and the vast majority plans to remain in Detroit when their two-year commitments end in August.

Wayne State University, which administers the program, is now accepting applications for the next class of fellows, who will begin their assignments in August 2013. The deadline to apply is March 1. Both fellows and employers are encouraged to apply. Additional information, eligibility requirements and the application form can be found at

The Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program seeks to build capacity for key organizations focused on the revitalization of Detroit, provide leadership development and training for fellows working in these organizations, and develop a network that fosters inter-agency connections and organizational collaboration. The Kresge Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, the Skillman Foundation, the DTE Energy Foundation, and Wayne State University have funded the program.

In addition to two years of full-time employment in a job that can enhance Detroit, fellows are assigned a mentor and a professional coach, take three study trips around the country, and meet monthly to learn more about leadership, urban planning, community and economic development, and residential and commercial real estate development.

“Our current fellows are well educated and talented professionals,” said Ned Staebler, Wayne State University vice president for economic development. “We see the impact they are making and we are anxious to recruit more of these leaders to join in the revitalization of Detroit.”

Organizations are encouraged to apply to participate in the Detroit Revitalization Fellows as employers. Fellows will be placed in organizations that contribute to the revitalization of the city, with a focus on:

  • Real estate finance and development
  • Community and economic development
  • Land use planning/implementation of the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework
  • Workforce development

Employers receive a stipend to pay for a portion of a fellow’s salary.

The Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program is modeled after the successful Rockefeller Foundation Redevelopment Fellowships launched in 2007 in New Orleans. That program, administered by the Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania, enabled key redevelopment organizations in New Orleans to recruit qualified professionals from across the country to work on the rebuilding process there.