Grow Detroit’s Young Talent Program Begins Eighth Year

The Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program expects to employ 8,000 young people during the summer. // Courtesy of the City of Detroit
The Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program expects to employ 8,000 young people during the summer. // Courtesy of the City of Detroit

The City of Detroit’s summer work experience program for Detroit youth has officially begun with the launch of the application period and the opening of the application portal:

The portal will remain open until May 20 for more than 8,000 Detroit youth who are expected to be employed throughout the city.

“In 2021 we provided our 50,000th summer work experience through Grow Detroit’s Young Talent,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “That is a simply remarkable achievement, particularly given the fact that over the last two years we have had to operate with the safety of participants during COVID at the forefront of our minds.

“Detroit is one of very few cities nationally that has been able to do this during the pandemic, and I want to particularly recognize our partners for their commitment to providing opportunities for the city’s future leaders under such challenging circumstances.”

While the target for total GDYT enrollments for 2022 will remain at 8,000, the program will introduce new enhancements for the 2022 program year.

One new element is Career Pathways Plus, which recruits, screens, and matches youth with businesses that offer specialized programs designed to prepare youth for occupations within their industry. The goal of this initiative is to place youth on a career pathway with participating companies that leads to permanent employment, high-growth career options and economic self-sufficiency.

Another enhancement is a partnership with the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) to allow GDYT youth access to professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service to address any financial challenges, needs, and plan for their futures.

“Grow Detroit’s Young Talent continues to be an incredibly important program for youth who are looking to find out what career paths are of most interest to them,” says Terri Weems, president of Detroit Employment Solutions Corp., which manages the GDYT program. “Year after year we see youth participate in GDYT and emerge either with a much better understanding of what career path they want to pursue, or in many cases transitioning quickly into full-time employment or post-secondary education.”

Also supporting the program are the Rocket Community Fund, Barton Malow, and DTE Energy.

To become an employer partner with GDYT, businesses can:

  • Provide a job at a designated worksite and sponsor a six-week paid work experience (120 hours).
  • Become a Funding Partner by making a financial contribution to the GDYT program to support summer work experiences for Detroit youth.
  • Become a Nonprofit Partner by serving as a Program Provider or Lead Agency through Connect Detroit.
  • Be recognized as an Affiliate Partner by directly hiring youth through an existing summer program that you operate.
  • Serve as a mentor to a GDYT youth participant.
  • Volunteer to support key program components.
  • Explore options to provide year-round and/or permanent employment opportunities to Detroit youth.