Mayor kicks off 7th year of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent to provide summer jobs for 8,000 youth ages 14-24

  • The 2021 GDYT program will surpass the milestone of 50,000 summer jobs made available to Detroit youth since 2015
  • Program continues to change lives even amid COVID pandemic
  • Youth applicants sign up at through May 1

The campaign to provide summer work experiences to 8,000 Detroit youth officially began today as Mayor Mike Duggan joined community leaders, employers, philanthropic organizations, and Detroit youth to officially launch the application period for Grow Detroit’s Young Talent. The application portal opened today at which will remain open until May 1.

In 2020, 8,006 Detroit youth were employed through GDYT, despite a pandemic that forced other cities to reduce or even cancel their summer youth employment initiatives. To maintain social distancing protocols, GDYT made over 6,000 of the 2020 summer opportunities virtual.

“We never considered canceling the program for a moment because we want our young people to know the value we place on them,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We are always grateful to our partners but particularly so last year. Pivoting to an entirely new program at scale in only three months was a remarkable achievement. Whatever the status this summer, we will still make sure that our youth have the opportunity to learn new skills and earn a wage.”

While the target for total GDYT enrollments is consistent with 2020, the program will introduce several enhancements for the 2021 program year, including:

  • Pre-apprenticeship programs that will usher youth into federal registered apprenticeship programs post-GDYT.
  • A new, GDYT CareerEdge system to streamline youth enrollment and interactive work-readiness training.
  • A GDYT App that enables instant youth communications and helps accelerate financial literacy elements.

The importance of the GDYT program to Detroit youth was underlined by GDYT Executive Director Marie Hocker. “Since the Mayor launched GDYT in 2015, it has been there every year, providing over 8,000 summer employment opportunities for Detroit youth aged 14-24” said Hocker. “Our city’s youth have come to rely on GDYT and expect it to be there for them. We are immensely grateful to our partners who saw it as an imperative to continue to offer these opportunities despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.”

Employer partners at today’s kick off included DTE Energy, a key sponsor and employer since GDYT’s inception.

“We’re grateful for the partnership and leadership of Mayor Duggan in helping Detroit forge ahead on our mission to support local youth, especially his unwavering commitment to this program during these trying times,” said Dave Meador, vice chairman and chief administrative officer at DTE Energy. “This program is vital to the success of the communities we serve, and we look forward to empowering this generation of leaders to write our city’s next great chapter.”

How to get involved

Starting today, Detroit youth interested in a summer job should visit to apply between February 4 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.

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

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 GDYT Edge, the applicant will be screened. During May and June, partners will have the opportunity to select candidates at either a GDYT-sponsored career fair for Career Pathways Internships, Industry-Led Training, and Pre-Apprenticeships, or through a virtual Career Fair. All properly registered GDYT youth will receive a minimum 12 hours of work readiness pre-training prior to the start of their summer employment. Successful GDYT registered youth will also attend a Youth Orientation where they will receive additional materials regarding timekeeping, benchmark achievements, the GDYT Handbook. For more information about the youth applicant process, refer to GDYT’s Roadmap to Success at