Mayor Mike Duggan on Thursday, Feb. 4 issued an ambitious challenge to the city’s businesses and foundations: put 8,000 Detroit youth ages 14-24 to work this summer.
The goal is significantly higher than the goal of 5,000 that the Mayor set last summer for the inaugural year of his Grown Detroit’s Young Talent initiative, which ended up connecting 5,594 young Detroiters with work experiences and job skills. The initiative is a collaborative effort between the Mayor’s Office, City Connect Detroit, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and the philanthropic and business community.
As he kicked off this year’s Grow Detroit’s Young Talent campaign this morning at the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor praised the city’s business and philanthropic leaders for their commitment to Detroit’s youth last year and challenged them to increase their commitment this year.
“Last year, this community came together in a very powerful way to let our young people know how much they matter to us,” Mayor Duggan said. “The work, training and networking opportunities these young people have been able to experience will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
Online application process begins today, 1st enrollment fairs this weekend
Starting today, Detroit youth interested in applying for a summer job this year, can apply at www.GDYT.org. Businesses interested in providing summer work experiences for Detroit youth also can register at the GDYT website.
Starting this weekend, the first of a series of Youth Enrollment Career Fairs will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the following locations:
- East Lake Baptist Church, 12400 E. Jefferson Ave.
- Triumph Church, 2760 E. Grand Blvd.
At each of the events, interested youth will be able to ask questions and apply online at one of several computer stations that will be set up.
Bishop Charles Ellis of Greater Grace Temple said that the faith-based community will play an active role this year in helping to get Detroit’s young people into the application process.
“A first job and employment experience for a youth can establish a self-sufficient mentality for the rest of their life,” said Bishop Ellis.
Last year, more than 11,000 young people completed GDYT applications. To help hire as many as possible, major sponsors came forward to provide nearly $7 million in funding for the program, of which the City of Detroit pledged $1.5 million of community development block grant (CDBG) funds.
Among last year’s major sponsors were:
- Skillman Foundation
- Kellogg Foundation
- Bank of America Charitable Foundation
- DTE Energy Foundation
- JPMorgan Chase Foundation
- Marjorie S. Fisher Fund
- Fifth Third Bank
- The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
- Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
- Detroit Wayne County Mental Health Agency
“Giving a young Detroiter a summer job is one of the fastest and more direct ways those in the private sector can make an impact on the life trajectory for a young person, all while contributing in an immediate and meaningful way to our regional economy and by building a prepared workforce for the city’s future,” said Tonya Allen, President & CEO of the Skillman Foundation.
Meanwhile, local businesses large and small, such as Detroit Manufacturing Services (DMS), Belfor and Errol Service made up the more than 170 employer partners who committed to providing placement and financial support to hire youth last summer.
“We’re excited to be working with smart, young Detroiters during the earliest stages of their careers, helping them get the training and experience they need to thrive,” said Andra Rush, CEO, Detroit Manufacturing Systems. DMS is the program’s single largest summer employer, having committed to hiring 100 youth at Rush’s facility in Detroit.
Process for successful applicants
After an individual applies through GDYT.org, the applicant will be screened. Throughout the months of May and June, applicants will be selected based upon both employer request and a random selection process among the applicants.
Orientation sessions preparing successful GDYT applicants for the workplace will take place and include 12 hours of work readiness training at a worksite.
This year’s work experience begins July 6.