Grow Detroit’s Young Talent Kicks Off 6th year of Summer Employment Program for Detroit Youth

8000+ jobs available. High school students smilie while wearing program t-shirts.
  • Summer jobs program aims to employ 8,000 youth ages 14-24
  • Applicants and employers can sign up at through May 1


Enrollment for the sixth year of the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT) summer youth employment program was launched today by Mayor Mike Duggan. The Mayor was joined at DTE Energy Headquarters in Detroit by business and community leaders, employers, philanthropic organizations and Detroit youth to officially launch the application period, which will be open until May 1.

In 2019, 8,281 Detroit youth were employed at 548 work sites through GDYT. Prior to the launch of GDYT in 2015, approximately 2,500 Detroit youth would have summer jobs each year through a series of smaller independent programs. Youth looking for summer employment and organizations interested in participating should go to today through May 1 to complete the application.

“Having a summer job is about so much more than just earning money” said Mayor Duggan. “Grow Detroit's Young Talent is changing lives. One day, hundreds of future leaders will look back at their time with GDYT as the experience that set them on their path to success."

Today’s kickoff breakfast at DTE Energy headquarters was hosted by DTE Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer Dave Meador. A multi-year GDYT partner, DTE has hosted several kickoff events and remains committed to providing opportunities for the city’s youth.

“At DTE we understand the value of real-world experience when young adults begin to explore career opportunities. We continue to partner with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent because its mission is so important – to help students acclimate to a work environment and gain the job skills they need to thrive,” said Meador. “We encourage other businesses in the city to join us in helping these young people grow.”

The importance of the GDYT program to Detroit youth was underlined by GDYT Executive Director Marie Hocker.

“It’s great to see the increasing levels of infrastructure investment and new employers moving into the city, but we need to ensure that the opportunities they bring are attainable for the next generation of Detroit talent” said Hocker. “GDYT helps our young people clarify their career path interests and develop the professional and interpersonal skills they need to fully participate in the city’s resurgence.”

The Impact of GDYT on Educational Outcomes
Findings from University of Michigan’s Youth Policy Lab also indicate that summer job experiences through GDYT have benefits long after summer is over, with GDYT-involved youth from the 2015-2017 cohorts all being more likely to be enrolled in school, to take the SAT, to graduate from high school and to be less chronically absent from school.

While the target for total GDYT enrollments is consistent with 2019, the program will introduce several enhancements for the 2020 program year. These include:

  • A mentorship pilot: GDYT Career Pathway interns will be paired up with caring adult mentors who will support their professional and personal development
  • Advanced work-readiness training, including a Work-Readiness Summit for select participants and enhanced financial literacy elements
  • An expanded youth banking initiative will offer bank accounts without banking fees to the younger and older participant population

How to get involved
Starting today, Detroit youth interested in a summer job should visit to apply between January 31 and May 1. Organizations interested in becoming a sponsor or providing summer work experiences for Detroit youth may also register at the GDYT Web site.

"Grow Detroit's Young Talent is playing an important role in developing the workers of tomorrow and giving them more access to economic opportunity,” said Mary Culler, President, Ford Motor Company Fund and Detroit Development Director. "We are excited that part of our support to GDYT will be for a masonry apprentice program at Michigan Central Station. These youth will help bring back a Detroit icon while gaining important skills for the future.”


Employers can participate in GDYT in three ways:

  1. Become an Employer Partner by sponsoring a 6-week paid work experience (up to 120 hours) at your workplace for $1,800 per youth
  2. Be recognized as an Affiliate Partner by directly hiring youth through an existing employment opportunity or summer employment program that you already operate
  3. Make a financial contribution to the GDYT program to support summer work experiences for Detroit youth

To become involved, employers should visit and go to the Employers and Supporters page to complete a Commitment Form.

In addition to becoming a GDYT Employer Partner, opportunities are available for mentoring a GDYT participant and for volunteering to support other program components.

Process for Successful Youth Applicants
After an individual expresses interest in a summer work experience through, the applicant will be screened. During May and June, employers will have the opportunity to interview candidates at GDYT-sponsored career fairs for Career Pathways Internships and Industry-Led Training. Otherwise, youth applicants will be selected based upon both funding requirements and a random selection process among the applicants. All properly registered GDYT youth will receive a minimum 12 hours of work readiness training prior to the start of their summer employment. Successful GDYT registered youth will also attend a Youth Orientation where they will receive their GDYT ID Badge, Worksite Placement and summer GDYT shirt. For more information about the youth applicant process, refer to GDYT’s Roadmap to Success at