A local summer program that provides thousands of jobs, Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, will receive a $2 million federal grant awarded over two years, enabling the city to provide another 1,000 young people with summer employment opportunities.

In total, $21 million in funding was announced Monday by the Department of Labor and the Obama administration, and the $2 million represents Detroit’s share. The funds are aimed at connecting disadvantaged young people with jobs this summer and year-round.

“I’d like to thank President Obama and Secretary Perez for their support of youth in our community,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “This is about giving young people an opportunity to develop the skills that will put them on the path to bright futures and careers.

“Summer jobs are such an important part of a young person’s life, and we need to make sure that as many young people in Detroit as possible have that opportunity.”


In 2015 the City of Detroit provided jobs to 5,600 youths. The city administration set the 2016 goal of expanding to offering 8,000 jobs.

Interest in the program has far outstripped the supply, and Mayor Mike Duggan is actively recruiting more businesses to participate even though the number of participating businesses as doubled from last year. More than 11,000 youth applied for GDYT in five weeks this year.

This also could be a great opportunity to a business to get some extra help. If a business can’t afford to pay the $1,700 to hire a youth, thanks to philanthropic funding sources, they can pay half.

The program starts on July 6. Teens 14 to 18 years of age are paid $8 an hour, and those 18-24 receive $9.50 an hour. Most participants work 20 hours a week for six weeks. They will also receive 12 hours of work readiness training and another 24 hours of training, such as financial literacy education. Businesses interested in participating or donating to the program are asked to go to www.gdyt.org.

The grant will be administered by the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation.

“This grant will let us offer more employment opportunities and training to more Detroiters,” said Jose Reyes, interim CEO of the DESC. “We appreciate that the Obama administration sees the difference that we are making in Detroit and are allowing us to expand our efforts.”

The federal grant funds put Detroit officials closer to their goal of raising $10.25 million this year to fund the GDYT program and provide summer employment opportunities to 8,000 youth.


Detroit also named a “Summer Impact Hub” 

According to the White House, they are launching 16 Summer Impact Hubs nationally, including one in Detroit. The idea is that the hubs will provide provide tailored support to the community in order to upgrade and expand jobs, training, meals, and violence reduction programs for young people this summer and year-round. As part of this program, this spring and summer, Detroit will also receive a Federal “Summer Ambassador.”

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