New partnership helps connect Detroit youth with jobs and training 

summer-jobsDetroit Mayor Mike Duggan, along with workforce development officials and other community stakeholders today announced a new initiative to support Detroit youth ages 16-24 who are not currently working or attending school.  The Youth Career Center (YCC) in southwest Detroit will help reach thousands of these “Opportunity Youths” and help them develop a path to a career through education, training and paid work experiences.
Most youth in Detroit are on one of three tracks; they are in school, working or neither.
The Youth Career Center, made possible by a joint initiative of Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and SER Metro Detroit, will help assist many of the estimated 25,000 youth living in Detroit who are neither in school or employed.
“The assistance provided at this Youth Career Center is another layer our community-wide effort to make sure our youth have access to the opportunity that now exists in Detroit,” said Mayor Duggan. “These are young people who for one reason or another had been disengaged from the process.  This new centers is their chance to get back in.”
Over the past three years, the city of Detroit has increased the number of Detroit youth getting summer jobs from about 2,500 to 8,000 through Grow Detroit’s Young Talent.  The Youth Career Center will assist some of the city’s estimated 25,000 youth who are most disconnected from school and employment opportunities, many of whom are dealing with emotional trauma stemming from homelessness, the effects of crime or other issues.
While the Youth Career Center was established to assist youth ages 16-24, those who are 18-24 can still receive support at any DESC One Stop.
How the YCC works
The funding for the YCC comes from a $2 million grant from the Department of Labor the city was awarded last fall.   Those funds are paying for focused community outreach to help identify underserved youth – including through homeless shelters, social networds and other support agencies – as well as for hiring specially trained staff to serve them.
Once an Opportunity Youth is identified, they will be assessed at the center and will work with staff on a path best suited to their current level of education or experience, goals and interests. The center will also help young people obtain the necessary credentials for work including a high school diploma or equivalent and post-secondary certificates and degrees.
“This new Youth Career Center provides a vital year-round support for Detroit youth who are at a crossroads in their lives and need help choosing the right path” said DESC President and CEO, Nicole Sherard-Freeman. “We are very grateful to the U.S. Department of Labor for their support, and for the partnership of SER Metro in making this vital resource a reality.”
At the Youth Career Center, dedicated staff have experience with the life challenges youth may be facing and can work with them to plan their next steps, whether toward a career or further education.
The Youth Career Center is located next door to the existing DESC One-Stop at 9301 Michigan Avenue, and is open Mondayto Friday, 9am-5pm. Anyone with questions can call the center on 313-945-5200, ext. 4200.
The center will also partner with a dozen youth-serving organizations already working in the city to provide career and education support. These partnerships will help build better strategies to get Detroit youth to focus on the finish line and find the career path that works best for them. YCC partners include: YCC partners include Neighborhood Service Organization, YMCA, Wayne County Community College District, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, and others.
Open House
Following the announcement, the YCC hosted an open house where youth were encouraged to come visit the center and see the opportunities provided. YCC staff were on hand to provide support for young people.  Staff will help young people explore potential career paths based on interest, help assess what credentials are needed for that path and what next steps


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