Grow Detroit’s Young Talent offers city’s youth work experience

Mayor Mike Duggan speaking to youth participating in Grow Detroit’s Young Talent.

Jobs are being created all over the city, including those for Detroit’s youth. Flanked by foundations, employers, and other partners, Mayor Mike Duggan announced the start of the 2018 Grow Detroit Young Talent’s (GDYT) summer jobs program. The program provides six-week summer employment experiences for 8,210 Detroit youth, ages 14-24, at over 500 job sites.
The announcement was made at Rickman Enterprise Group on the city’s west side, which will host the Herman Moore Tackle Life Foundation program, providing training in photography and image editing to 30 youth this summer. The mayor was also joined by over 50 GDYT youth program participants, as well as many of the funding partners that have raised $11.5M to fund this year’s program.
“For many of the youth here today and those who are already working, the next six weeks will change their lives,” said Mayor Duggan. “Whether it gives them skills they know they need, or exposure to opportunities that may be new to them, it is about so much more than just getting a paycheck.
“As always, we are very grateful to all the partners who have donated their money, their time and their resources in order to help improve the career prospects for Detroit’s workforce of tomorrow.”
For six weeks during the summer, GDYT youth will receive work experiences that will provide them invaluable training, on-the-job experiences, professional contacts and a potential career path.
In 2018, GDYT has made some additions. The Career Academy Program (CAP) has debuted in five Detroit public schools providing work readiness training and there are now over 650 industry-led training opportunities that provide real world skills for youth.
“Our employers are consciously developing work experiences designed to motivate and challenge youth,” said Jason D. Lee, Executive Director of GDYT. “These opportunities are the start of the next generation of workforce for Detroit and Southeast Michigan.”
GDYT has partnered with the University of Michigan’s Youth Policy Lab to track the effects of participation in the program. The Youth Policy Lab has worked closely with Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation to monitor and analyze how youth within the program are participating and whether that influences their academic achievements, and engagement in the workforce.
“We find that the youth who participate in the GDYT program have better educational outcomes,” said Brian Jacob, Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Youth Policy Lab and Education Policy Initiative at the University of Michigan. “Specifically, the students who participate in GDYT have a lower rate of absenteeism and a higher graduation rate in comparison with their peers.”
The GDYT application process started in January and received over 13,000 applications. Most participants work 20 hours a week for six weeks, and all will receive 12 hours of work readiness training. GDYT youth will work at companies large and small, at a variety of jobs across more than 500 work sites, ranging from construction sites to auto suppliers to law firms.
“This is our second year being a part of the GDYT program” said Herman Moore, founder of the Herman Moore Tackle Life Foundation. “This foundation is all about providing life skills and experience for youth up to the age of 18, so the partnership with GDYT is a perfect fit for us.”

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