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Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison Launches Grow Detroit’s Young Talent 2023 Summer Work Experience for More Than 8,000 Detroit Youth

  • GDYT 2023 program provides 8,546 work experiences for Detroit youth, passing milestone of 70,000 since launch in 2015
  • A combination of in-person and remote experiences are still being made available


Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison was joined today by City Council members, employers, funding partners, and dozens of Detroit youth and other supporters for the launch of this year’s summer jobs program for 8,546 Detroit youth ages 14-24. The Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT) program is in its ninth year and has now surpassed the milestone of 70,000 summer job experiences created for Detroit youth.

“I’m delighted to officially launch this summer’s ‘Grow Detroit’s Young Talent’ employment experience,” said Deputy Mayor Bettison. “Every summer, those of us who are often out in the city of Detroit see these youth all around the city, wearing their GDYT shirts, doing the jobs that employers need. We are proudly growing our young talent by equipping them with the necessary life skills to successfully compete in the workforce.

“This year, the program is celebrating the creation of its 70,000th summer job experience for Detroit youth. That is a fantastic achievement and tells you everything you need to know about how engaged our young people are in getting ready for the future.”

Joining the Deputy Mayor were members of Detroit City Council which has been a strong advocate for youth employment opportunities since GDYT launched in 2015.

"Since its inception, I have fervently supported the Grow Detroit's Young Talent program” said City Council President Mary Sheffield. “Over those years, I have personally worked with several interns from GDYT who have gone on to pursue careers and achieve great success in various sectors and industries, using their education, skills, and first-hand experience gained during their tenure.

“The Grow Detroit's Young Talent program has fostered an environment which benefits the students, employers, and partners alike and has been transformational for all parties involved. I am thoroughly excited to kick-off this year's round of youth summer employment, and I am looking forward to working with several students directly."

This summer’s GDYT program continues to see youth working directly with the City of Detroit, with nearly 90 youth working across a total of 21 City of Detroit departments.

“Our young folk are intellectually gifted, and have the skill sets to make meaningful contributions in any profession,” said Detroit City Council Member Mary Waters. “What we missed are opportunities to actually enter the workplace, and to be exposed to workplace expectations. This program cultivates strong work ethic, emotional intelligence, and career development needed for navigating the world of work.

“GDYT also closes the gap that used to place internships, a formative career experience, out of reach for most black youth, and that was pay. This program is an asset to our Detroit youth and has been an amazing instrument to allow our youth to define their path and explore a wealth of opportunities.”

Now in its ninth year, GDYT will place 8,546 Detroit youth into summer job experiences in 2023, the highest number since the program launched in 2015.

“The golden door to success in life is the knock of education, hard work and devotion to purpose, and the members of GDYT 2023 have knocked on that door with their hard work” said Detroit City Council Member Coleman A. Young II. “The future success of Detroit and our society will be due to the education, hard work, and dedication that these GDYT students and those before and after them have demonstrated time and time again. They are a sterling example to us all of the best of Detroit. Be great in all you do!”

Today’s launch event took place at Marygrove Conservancy on West McNichols, where this year dozens of Detroit youth will be working with Be-Moor radio, learning broadcast, audio, and a wide range of other technical skills.

“We are delighted to host you all here at Marygrove for the launch of GDYT 2023,’ said Dennis Talbert, CEO of Be-Moor Radio, which is located at Marygrove Conservancy. “For the next several weeks, 53 GDYT youth will be with us here at Be-Moor Radio, joining thousands of other Detroit youth across the city as GDYT 2023 gets underway. Every year, this program makes me proud to be a Detroiter.”

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, as well as the Junior Police Cadet Program. GDYT has raised $14M to support GDYT 2023, much of which comes from a range of funding partners that have supported the program for many years. Citizens, in particular, has been a consistent supporter of the program for nine years, providing not only $90,000 of funding but also volunteering hundreds of hours teaching financial empowerment to more than 1,000 young Detroiters.

“At Citizens, we recognize the importance of showing young people that no matter where their interests lie in terms of a future career, they have a viable a path to success, and we’re committed to providing them with the tools and resources to achieve long term economic security,” said Yasmeen Jasey, Michigan Market Executive, Citizens. “GDYT is doing just that for the youth in our community, and we’re proud to once again support this incredibly impactful program through funding and volunteerism from our colleagues.”

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 city-wide program back in 2015.”

2023 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.