Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison Launches 10th ‘Grow Detroit’s Young Talent’ Work Experience with a Record 8,643 Summer Jobs

  • Total jobs provided through GDYT nearly 80,000 since 2015 launch
    Youth will be working in a wide range of remote and in-person roles, as well as with 22 City of Detroit departments


10th ‘Grow Detroit’s Young Talent’ Work Experience 2


Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison was joined today by Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield, employers, funding partners, and dozens of Detroit youth and other supporters for the launch of this year’s summer jobs program for Detroit youth ages 14-24.

2024 is the 10th summer of the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT) program which with a record 8,643 youth jobs offered this summer, has now created 79,680 summer job experiences for Detroit youth since launch in 2015.

“Over the last few months, we have seen so much evidence of how Detroit is once again becoming a destination city for people to live, work and play, and the wide range of opportunities coming to Detroit as a result,” said Deputy Mayor Bettison. “The commitment of Detroit’s employment, workforce and philanthropic communities, combined with the support from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, is allowing GDYT to equip our youth with the necessary life skills to successfully take advantage of all these new opportunities.”

10th ‘Grow Detroit’s Young Talent’ Work Experience


Joining the Deputy Mayor was Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield who has advocated tirelessly for GDYT since the program launched in 2015. This summer’s GDYT program continues to see youth working directly with the City of Detroit, with 259 youth working across a total of 22 City department worksites.

“I am thrilled about this year's launch of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent,” said Council President Sheffield. “This program offers invaluable experiences to our young people, equipping them with essential professional skills and preparing them for the real world. We have the unique privilege of shaping our youth into the leaders of tomorrow, and I am delighted to be part of this incredible initiative for another year!”

Now in its tenth year, GDYT will place Detroit youth into a wide range of summer job experiences in 2024. Placements include Detroit Junior Police and Fire Cadets, as well as Healthcare, Skilled Trades, Financial Services, Entrepreneurship, IT, Hospitality, and many more.

Today’s launch event took place at Wayne State University’s Welcome Center on West Warren, where dozens of Detroit youth will be working through GDYT this summer.

“Wayne State is excited to support this important program once again,” said Wayne State University President Kimberly Andrews Espy, Ph.D. “As a university of opportunity, Wayne State is committed to accelerating mobility for Detroit youth. We do this through programs that enable access and knock down financial barriers to enrollment at our university, such as the Detroit Promise and Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge, and through learning by doing experiences like those offered by GDYT.”

As in previous years, GDYT is working with key implementation partner Connect Detroit to make many of the opportunities available by aligning activities across key community-based organizations and municipal departments.

“GDYT is a true collaborative effort and major investment in Detroit's youth,” said Shuna Hayward, Vice President of Programs at GDYT lead partner Connect Detroit. “Multiple sectors including community-based organizations, industry, private business, public institutions and philanthropy work together to ensure that our young people have opportunities for high quality, paid summer work experiences. We want our young people to develop the skills, positive relationships, and confidence to thrive as they become Detroit's future workforce, entrepreneurs and leaders.“

GDYT has successfully raised over $14 million to support the program in 2024, much of which comes from a range of funding partners and employers that have participated in the program for many years.

“Detroit was built by innovators, hard workers, and visionaries,” said Logan Miller, Talent Acquisition Manager at Walker-Miller Energy Services. “The opportunity to continue to pour into our Detroit youth is crucial. This internship opportunity will empower them to confidently navigate change, enter new environments, and apply the wisdom they've acquired to carve out their own successful paths.”

Since launch in 2015, GDYT has consistently added to the program every year to improve programming, take account of learning from the previous year, and build on feedback from both employers and youth.

“As Grow Detroit’s Young Talent continues to develop partnerships to expose our youth to potential future careers, there has never been a more important time for our young people to be taking advantage of these opportunities,” said Misty Evans, Director of Program Operations for GDYT. “Technology is evolving so rapidly at present that we need to do everything possible to prepare our future leaders for a future that is very different to what it was when Mayor Duggan launched this program 10 years ago.”

2024 GDYT career experiences will run until mid-August.

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About GDYT

Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT) is a citywide training and employment program for young adults between the ages of 14 and 24. The program seeks to provide over 8,000 youth summer employment opportunities in partnership with Metro Detroit corporations, non-profit organizations, municipal departments, local businesses and the philanthropic community. The strategic goals of GDYT are:

  • Ensure young adults have meaningful summer work experiences that create pathways to future opportunities
  • Connect young adults to providers and employers that can support their career goals
  • Introduce employers to the next generation of Detroit’s workforce.
  • Align Detroit’s youth workforce development programs to streamline service delivery and improve outcomes.

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation is the lead agency for GDYT. Connect Detroit is DESC’s contracted program implementation leader working with key community-based organizations, municipal departments and Junior Police Cadet Program.