Annual Detroit Youth Talent Program Offering Summer Jobs on Tap

The City of Detroit’s summer work experience program for Detroit youth officially kicked-off today as Mayor Mike Duggan was joined by employers, philanthropic organizations and youth to officially launch the application period for Grow Detroit’s Young Talent 2022 (GDYT). The application portal opened today at www.GDYT.org, and will remain open until May 20.

8,048 Detroit youth were employed through GDYT during the 2021 program, the seventh straight year of exceeding the program’s target of 8,000. To maintain social distancing protocols, GDYT made more than 6,000 of the 2021 summer opportunities virtual and the program will provide similar accommodations in 2022.

“In 2021 we provided our 50,000th summer work experience through Grow Detroit’s Young Talent,” said Mayor Duggan. “That is a simply remarkable achievement, particularly given the fact that over the last two years we have had to operate with the safety of participants during COVID at the forefront of our minds. Detroit is one of very few cities nationally that has been able to do this during the pandemic, and I want to particularly recognize our partners for their commitment to providing opportunities for the city’s future leaders under such challenging circumstances.”

Detroit City Council Member at Large Mary Waters echoed the Mayor’s thanks to partners, and stressed how Detroit youth have now come to rely on GDYT being there for them every summer.

“There has been so much uncertainty in the world for the past two years, but even with a global health crisis still looming, GDYT has provided Detroit’s youth with safe, enriching personal and professional development,” said Council Member Waters. “Our young folk are intellectually gifted, and have the skill sets to make meaningful contributions in any profession. What has been missing are opportunities to actually enter the workplace young enough to be exposed to workplace expectations. This program cultivates a strong work ethic, and emotional intelligence needed for navigating the world of work.”

While the target for total GDYT enrollments for 2022 will remain at 8,000, the program will introduce new enhancements for the 2022 program year, including:

Career Pathways Plus is a new GDYT component that recruits, screens, and matches youth with businesses that offer specialized programs designed to prepare youth for occupations within their industry. The goal of this initiative is to place youth on a career pathway with participating companies that leads to permanent employment, high-growth career options and economic self-sufficiency.
Partnership with the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) to allow GDYT youth access to professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service to address any financial challenges, needs, and plan for their futures.

“Grow Detroit’s Young Talent continues to be an incredibly important program for youth who are looking to find out what career paths are of most interest to them,” said Terri Weems, President of Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation which manages the GDYT program. “Year after year we see youth participate in GDYT and emerge either with a much better understanding of what career path they want to pursue, or in many cases transitioning quickly into full-time employment or post-secondary education.”

Also at today’s kick-off event were representatives of Rocket Community Fund, Barton Malow and DTE Energy, all major multi-year partners of the GDYT program whose support has extended across a wide range of potential career paths.

The Rocket Community Fund, the philanthropic partner of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), supports inclusive, thriving and resilient communities by making data-driven investments in housing, employment and public life.

“The youth of today are our leaders of tomorrow, and we are committed to providing meaningful enrichment experiences through our tremendous partnership with GDYT,” said Jayme Powell, the Rocket Community Fund’s Director of Education and Employment. “We are proud to continue our support of GDYT so that young Detroiters have equitable access to educational and economic opportunities that empower them to work toward their bright futures.”

“The Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program provides Barton Malow access to an untapped recruitment pool that not only represents our future leaders in the skilled trades, but also diversity in ethnicity, gender and thought,” said Dannis Mitchell, National Director, Community Engagement at Barton Malow Builders. “This pipeline of talent feeds into our workforce development initiatives which help grow our skilled trades employment throughout southeast Michigan. Barton Malow is a proud supporter of GDYT, as it aligns with our core values of building people, projects and communities.”

Supporting youth employment through programs is critical to building a stronger Detroit and Michigan. The DTE Foundation has supported GDYT each year since launching in 2015, providing more than $6.5 million in funding.

“Year over year, DTE increases its participation in Grow Detroit’s Young Talent because we know that young people with real-world work experience grow into adults with more career options. We are committed to expanding opportunities and providing meaningful work for these students,” said Diane Antishin, vice president of Human Resources and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at DTE. “Our summer interns make our company better, bringing new ideas and energy. If local businesses aren’t participating in GDYT, I encourage you to join us in helping to develop our future leaders.”

How to get involved

Starting today, Detroit youth interested in a summer job should visit www.GDYT.org to apply. The registration portal will be open until May 20, 2022. Organizations interested in becoming a sponsor or providing summer work experiences for Detroit youth may also register at the GDYT website.

There are several ways to partner with GDYT:

Become an Employer Partner by providing a job at your designated worksite and sponsoring a six-week paid work experience (120 hours)
Become a Funding Partner by making a financial contribution to the GDYT program to support summer work experiences for Detroit youth
Become a Nonprofit Partner by serving as a Program Provider or Lead Agency through Connect Detroit
Be recognized as an Affiliate Partner by directly hiring youth through an existing summer program that you operate
Serve as a Mentor to a GDYT youth participant
Volunteer to support key program components (i.e. career fairs, work-readiness training, etc.)
Explore options to provide year-round and/or permanent employment opportunities to Detroit youth

Process for Successful Youth Applicants

After an individual expresses interest in a summer work experience through GDYT.org, the applicant will be randomly selected through a lottery system. Selected youth must complete all enrollment forms and upload the required documents into the CareerEdge portal. All properly registered GDYT youth will receive a minimum 12 hours of work-readiness pre-training prior to the start of their summer employment. During May and June, select partners will have the opportunity to interview youth candidates at a GDYT-sponsored career fair for Career Pathways Internships, Industry-Led Training, and Pre-Apprenticeships, or through a virtual Career Fair. Successful GDYT registered youth will also attend a Youth Orientation where they will receive additional materials regarding timekeeping, benchmark achievements, and the GDYT Handbook. For more information about the youth applicant process, refer to GDYT’s Roadmap to Success at www.GDYT.org.

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