Grow Detroit's Young Talent Program Launches Ninth Year with 8,000 Summer Jobs

May 24, 2023

A version of this story originally appeared in The Detroit News.

Grow Detroit's Young Talent, the city's summer work experience program, kicked off its ninth year Tuesday with a goal of providing more than 8,000 summer jobs.

The program for youth ages 14-24 starts in June.

Mayor Mike Duggan joined with members of the Detroit City Council, employers, philanthropic organizations and youth at DTE Energy's headquarters in the city to officially open the registration portal.

Last year, 8,068 youth were employed through the program. To maintain social distancing protocols, more than 5,500 of last year's summer opportunities were virtual or hybrid, and the program will provide similar accommodations this year.

“This summer, we plan to make our 70,000th summer job opportunity available through GDYT," Duggan said. “Every year, it is inspiring to see so many thousands of youth sign up for this program, some who are multi-year participants taking further steps toward their final career paths, others getting their first taste of having a job and earning a paycheck. And every year, our employers, our philanthropic community and our partners across the city are there to meet them, to guide them, and to help them shape their futures."

Grow Detroit's Young Talent was launched by Duggan's administration in 2015 and is managed by the city's workforce agency, the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation. The program has continued at full capacity every summer despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the mayor's office stated in a press release.

This year, the program's budget is $13.8 million, a portion of which will come from more than $12 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds appropriated for the program last year. The exact amount of ARPA funds being used this year will be determined prior to the start of the summer work experience.

“COVID-19 has created challenges for families across our nation, not just in Detroit, and the importance of knowing that this program will be there for our young people cannot be overstated," said Terri Weems, president of Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation. “The opportunity for Detroit youth not only to get real-world experience, but also to contribute to their family budget, or save for college, or make connections that can help them, or add references to resumes, these things are invaluable as our youth begin to plan their futures."

DTE has been a partner since the program's launch in 2015.

“DTE is proud to continue our commitment to GDYT and provide meaningful work experiences to Detroit youth," said Diane Antishin, vice president of Human Resources and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of DTE Energy. “It's so valuable for young people to see a variety of careers so they can make more informed decisions about their own professional pathways. I want to encourage our business community to partner with GDYT this summer and share your energy with our future workforce."

The program is also supported by major national corporations, including JPMorgan Chase, and local organizations such as the Skillman Foundation.

This year, the program is further embedding conflict resolution and problem-solving skills into the program. They will also incorporate financial literacy training, consumer education to help young adults use social media to identify online issues, and expand efforts to serve youth with disabilities by partnering with additional agencies for resources.

How to Get Involved

Detroit youth interested in a summer job should visit to apply. The registration portal will be open until May 31, 2023. Organizations interested in becoming a sponsor or providing summer work experiences for Detroit youth may also register at the GDYT website.