During a breakfast hosted by DTE Energy at its Detroit headquarters, Mayor Mike Duggan announced the beginning of open enrollment for the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program, a summer youth employment program.
“GYDT is all about preparing our young Detroiters for their first jobs and ultimately their careers. Youth participating in this year’s program will have more opportunity than ever to receive the kind of training and experience that could make them immediately employable,” Mayor Duggan said.
The open enrollment period is not only for youth, but also local businesses that want to hire GDYT youth. GDYT employs youth between 14 and 24 for 6 weeks during the summer through partnerships with local businesses.
“The business and philanthropic community really stepped up to the plate, and our community came together to make it clear that we care about the kids in this city and we want to make sure that they have access to opportunity. It means so much to tell our young people that the community is here for you, and we believe in you,” said the mayor.
“There’s going to be 300 to 400 companies to choose from. You are going to have options, from police and fire to sports teams to medical facilities. There will be a whole range of options for our young people.”
In 2015, GDYT’s first year, 5,600 youth were employed through the program. Due to the program’s success, each year interest in GDYT almost doubles. Last year, GDYT received over 25,000 applications and out of those, 8,100 were chosen. Each year the program hopes to employ more youth.
As the program’s popularity grows, Tonya Allen, president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation said the impact of programs like GDYT extends beyond just helping youth, but it also helps the community.
“Hiring a young Detroiter through this summer jobs program is a direct way for those in the private sector to make an immediate impact on the life trajectory of our kids and our city,” Tonya Allen, president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation said. “Not only are we helping our young people begin their careers, we are strengthening their capacity to contribute to Detroit’s recovery as part of its workforce.”
The program has proven to inspire growth and build confidence for its youth through readiness training, vocational training and employment. DeAnna Gardner is an example of that. Gardner, a Cass Technical High School student and participant in GDYT, believes she has grown since becoming a part of the program.
“Being involved has been a great experience. I have been able to see new things and learn some new experiences,” Gardner said about her time with GDYT. “The program has opened me up. Before, I wasn’t as social and involved. I’m looking forward to another year.”
The application process for GDYT is open now and ends on March 31, 2017. To apply, youth must be eligible to work in the U.S. and be residents of the city of Detroit. To sign up, go to http://www.GDYT.org.