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Hundreds of GDYT Youth Hired for Summer Jobs by Employers at United Way Career Connections Event

  • Over 50 employers and industry-led training providers interview candidates in collaboration with Mayor’s Grow Detroit’s Young Talent initiative 

Mayor Mike Duggan’s ‘Grow Detroit’s Young Talent’ program has partnered with United Way for Southeastern Michigan at a hiring event that saw hundreds of GDYT youth secure summer jobs.

The Career Connections Fair, which took place at Cobo Center Friday, saw nearly 700 invited youth meet with over 50 industry-led training providers and employers including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, DTE Energy and Quicken Loans, with many receiving job offers on the spot.

“This is the third year now for GDYT, and events like today’s are a great illustration of how well the process is now running” said Mayor Mike Duggan, who visited the fair to meet with both youth and employers. “Businesses are engaged and supportive and for many Detroit youth interviewing today, the opportunity they get this summer will be life-changing.”

The event was organized jointly with United Way for Southeastern Michigan, with a goal of matching participants ranging from high school students 16+ to college graduates with over 50 organizations interviewing for employment opportunities in career exploration and high-growth, high-demand industries.

“This career fair is a critical component of our College and Career Pathways initiative, which is helping to cultivate the next generation of talent in our community,” said Herman Gray, M.D., President and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “This event aligns with the organization’s longstanding commitment to student achievement, and aligns perfectly with the Mayor’s GDYT program to offer young people real-world experiences with top-notch employers in our community.” 

Youth were hired either by employers or industry-led training organizations and rates of pay vary based on work experience type, individual background and age.  Summer jobs will start July 10 or later as agreed with employers, and will last a maximum of six weeks.

In addition to interviewing opportunities at the Career Connections Fair, students heard from guest speakers and received professional development workshops, including resume building. After being hired, GDYT participants work with Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation to manage pre and post job-related services to ensure a seamless transition for young people and their employers.

“Private sector partnerships are critical to creating lifelong learning opportunities and career exploration for Detroit’s youth” said Laura Hughes, Vice President of Communications and Community at Strategic Staffing Solutions. “Everyone remembers their first job, and today is the first step on that journey.”

For youth not hired today, a further invitation-only event is scheduled for June.

Grow Detroit’s Young Talent was launched by Mayor Mike Duggan in 2015, with a goal that year of securing over 5,000 summer work experience opportunities for Detroit youth. The 2015 program exceeded its target and in 2016 the target was raised to 8,000 youth.  This target was once again exceeded and for 2017 the target has been kept at 8,000 but with a focus on quality of opportunity rather than quantity.

GDYT Jobs placements are based on a developmentally appropriate, tiered model for summer employment:

Tier 1: Career Exploration – The Career Exploration tier introduces young people to first-time work and career opportunities through community service, team projects, and job shadowing.  This tier is for youth with little to no previous work experience (typically 14-16 year olds).

Tier 2: Ready for Work – Developed for young people with some previous work experience, the Ready for Work tier places youth with a host employer or in a vocational training experience, while continuing to build career readiness skills. (typically 16-24 year olds).

Tier 3: Career Pathway Internships – The competitive Career Pathways Internship tier is for young people with previous work experience and a desire to focus on a specific career pathway with a host employer (17 years or older). 


About United Way for Southeastern Michigan

United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through volunteerism, advocacy, and its annual campaign. 

UWSEM is a leader in convening partners to achieve positive outcomes around four impact areas around education, economic prosperity and health. United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s College and Career Pathways advances the Linked Learning approach, which combines rigorous academics and technical education with real world experiences. 

Students from select DPSCD schools and three charter schools currently partnering in United Way’s Pathways initiative were invited to take part in “Career Connections Fair, including the following schools: Benjamin Carson HS for Science and Medicine; Central High School; Cody Academy for Public Leadership; Cody Detroit Institute of Technology; Cody Medicine and Community Health Academy; Communication and Media Arts HS; Detroit College Preparatory HS at Northwestern; Detroit Edison Public School Academy Early College of Excellence; Fredrick Douglas Academy; Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies; Henry Ford Academy; Osborn Alternative Energy; Osborn Collegiate Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology; Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design; Randolph Career and Technical Center; West Side Academy of Information Technology and Cyber Security; Western International HS. For more information about United Way for Southeastern Michigan, visit liveunitedsem.org


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