Enrollment for the 2017 Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program officially opened Wednesday along with a goal of raising more than $10 million to employ 8,000 city youth this summer.
Mayor Mike Duggan said the annual effort will offer even more opportunities for program participants this year. Among them, officials said, are expanded vocational training, training certifications and internships for its second- and third-year students.
“Young people in Detroit in many cases don’t see opportunity,” Duggan said during Wednesday’s launch inside the DTE Energy headquarters building downtown. “Now, if you want to work this summer and you are a teenager in Detroit, you can go to work. You can earn a paycheck and get started.”
Duggan launched the program in 2015 to promote and coordinate fundraising for local businesses that wanted to provide summer jobs for city youth. In its first year, 5,600 young people, ages 14-24, were employed through the six-week program.
Last year, 8,100 youth secured summer work at more than 600 work sites. More than 225 employers participated in the program, officials said.
Duggan expects there will be 300 to 400 companies to choose from this cycle in fields including police and fire, professional sports teams, law and real estate offices and medical facilities.
Vocational training will be offered to 550 participants, up from 400 last year, enabling them to earn industry-recognized certifications to provider an easier transition into full-time work. Another 550 participants will take part in Career Pathways Internships.
Youth selected for the internships will earn $9.50 per hour. The internship, for ages 17 and older, is offered for participants with previous work experience and an interest in a specific career focus with a host employer.
Eligible young people are recruited for the program through local schools, community organizations and the city’s workforce development system.
Youth ages 14-17, will be paid $7.50 per hour, and those 18 and older will make $8.90 per hour, according to the program website.
Program organizers are also calling on foundations, employers, labor groups to help the city with funding of the program.
Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy CEO, noted Wednesday that DTE has contributed $4 million to create 2,000 summer jobs for Detroit youth since 2010. This year they intend to kick in even more, boosting its offerings from 600 jobs to about 1,000, with the addition of internships and other options.
He urged others businesses to join in.
“If you are a business that’s not involved, I would ask you to think seriously about being involved,” he said.
DeAnna Gardner, a youth participant and Cass Technical High School student, said the opportunity has provided her with training to become a successful leader and role model.
“Being involved has been a great experience,” the 16-year-old said Wednesday. “I have been able to see new things and learn some new experiences. I’m looking forward to another year.”
The 2017 program runs from July 10 through Aug. 25. For information, visit the GDYT website.
Source: Detroit News