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More than 8,000 Detroit youths hired for summer job program

A program that gives young Detroiters an early opportunity to gain work experience exceeded its goal of hiring more than 8,000 kids.

The Grow Detroit Youth Talent (GDYT) program aims to prepare Detroiters between 14 and 24 years old for the city’s workforce. This year, the group hired 8,127 out of the 12,000 who applied, Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Friday, June 30.

“We know first-hand the importance of providing summer jobs for our youth and how that experience can transform their lives and put them on a path to success,” Duggan said in a news release. “I am extremely grateful to the many sponsors and employers who joined with us to make this program possible.”

For six weeks, starting July 10, participants will engage in training and on-the-job experiences, secure professional contacts and a pathway to a potential career. This year, participants will receive certifications such as medical first responder training, workplace safety, culinary arts and more.

“GDYT is about so much more than just getting a summer paycheck” said Nicole Sherard-Freeman, CEO of Detroit Employment Solutions Corp., in a news release.

“Through GDYT, our youth develop skills that will last a lifetime, and can point to specific work experiences that prove their work-readiness to future employers,” Sherard-Freeman continued.

Participants will earn between $7.50 and $9.50 per hour, working 20 hours a week for six weeks and will be placed at one of 530 work sites, ranging from construction sites, auto suppliers, law firms, sports stadiums and parks.

In 2016, the city provided jobs for 8,157 Detroit youths and about 5,600 in 2015. Fundraisers and sponsors raised $10 million to help pay for the program this year.


  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • Chemical Bank
  • Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation
  • Citizens Bank
  • City of Detroit
  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Crain’s Detroit Business
  • Detroit Finance Summer Institute
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority
  • Downtown Detroit Partnership
  • Dresner Foundation
  • DTE Energy
  • DTE Energy Foundation
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Ford Motor Co. Fund
  • General Motors
  • Ilitch Holdings
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • Kresge Foundation
  • Marjorie S. Fisher Fund
  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • PNC Bank
  • Quicken Loans
  • Ralph C. Wilson Foundation
  • Skillman Foundation
  • Strategic Staffing Solutions
  • United Way for Southeastern Michigan
  • WK Kellogg Foundation
  • Wayne County