A groundbreaking partnership has been unveiled as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) announces a collaboration with Michigan Central, marking the return of BGCSM’s headquarters to Detroit. This exciting initiative was announced during the D.O.N. Weekend, bringing together the strengths of both organizations to empower Detroit’s youth in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.
Under the visionary leadership of Shawn H. Wilson, president and CEO of BGCSM, the collaboration promises to expand the already successful Industry Club program. Wilson stated, “We’re excited to partner with Michigan Central to expand our Industry Club programming, and to bring our headquarters back to Detroit. This expanded partnership puts our youth at the forefront of technology, mobility, and the innovation economy.”
The strategic partnership builds upon BGCSM’s proven track record of collaboration with influential figures and organizations such as musician Big Sean, author and activist Shaka Senghor, and BGCSM’s Ponyride program. These initiatives have been instrumental in offering young individuals diverse workforce development opportunities in fields ranging from entrepreneurship and technology to fashion, urban planning, and entertainment.
Nate Wallace, director of Civic Partnerships at Michigan Central, emphasized the importance of youth empowerment for Detroit’s success. “In order for Detroit to truly succeed, we must be intentional about providing opportunities for the city’s youth. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan is a national leader in empowering young Detroiters and preparing them to become leaders themselves. This partnership will not only introduce our youth to the future of technology, it will help them be a part of it.”
Central to this collaboration is the establishment of an innovative ecosystem by Michigan Central focused on mobility innovation. The Newlab at Michigan Central, a dynamic hub for cutting-edge companies, startups, and entrepreneurs, will play a pivotal role. BGCSM will join this ecosystem as a key partner, facilitating youth development programs and activities that leverage the advanced technology development resources and leading innovators anchored at Newlab at Michigan.
The initiatives to be offered under this collaboration are comprehensive and forward-thinking, reflecting the evolving needs of the workforce and the interests of the youth:
- Technology & Gaming Workshops: Nurturing tech-savviness and innovation among the youth through hands-on workshops.
- Fashion & Design Studios: Fostering creativity and entrepreneurship in the fields of fashion and design.
- Architecture and Artistic Explorations: Encouraging artistic expression and urban planning concepts among the youth.
- Robotics & Automation Bootcamps: Cultivating skills in automation and robotics, aligning with technological advancements.
- Workforce Development & Mentorship Programs: Providing mentorship and practical training to bridge the gap between education and industry.
- Arts & Culture Events: Engaging the youth in artistic and cultural activities that enrich their perspectives.
- Overall Administration: Ensuring seamless coordination and execution of these transformative initiatives.
The Industry Club program, initially launched in 2020, has rapidly expanded its scope. It now provides immersive experiences in a multitude of industries, including Data Science, Risk Management, Urban Planning, Technology, Music Production and Entertainment, Sports, E-Gaming, and Design. This expansion reflects BGCSM’s commitment to preparing the youth for a diverse range of career pathways.
Michigan Central’s dedication to community-focused programming is evident through initiatives such as bringing Google Code Next to Detroit. By fostering learning opportunities at various skill levels and through diverse approaches, Michigan Central aims to bridge the talent gap in technology and ensure the growth of a skilled and diverse workforce.
The partnership between BGCSM and Michigan Central symbolizes a powerful alliance that is set to redefine youth workforce development in Detroit. As both organizations bring their expertise and resources to the table, the youth of Detroit are poised to thrive in an era of technological innovation and economic transformation.