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

  • Portal now open for youth to sign up at through May 31, 2023.
  • Employers and partners can also sign up via the same website.
  • GDYT program has provided 62,491 summer work experiences for Detroit youth since 2015.
  • Program is one of the few nationally that has provided a complete program of opportunities for youth throughout COVID-19 (2020, 2021, and 2022).

Detroit – The ninth year of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, the City of Detroit’s summer work experience program for Detroit youth, officially kicked-off today with a goal of providing over 8,000 summer employment opportunities for Detroit youth ages 14-24.

Mayor Mike Duggan was joined by members of Detroit City Council, employers, philanthropic organizations, and youth at DTE Energy’s headquarters in Detroit to officially open the application portal, which will remain open at until May 31, 2023.

8,068 Detroit youth were employed through GDYT during the 2022 program, the eighth straight year of exceeding the program’s target of 8,000. To maintain social distancing protocols, GDYT made more than 5,500 of the 2022 summer opportunities virtual or hybrid, and the program will provide similar accommodations in 2023.

“This summer, we plan to make our 70,000th summer job opportunity available through GDYT,” said Mayor Duggan. “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.”

Joining the mayor at today’s event were several members of Detroit City Council, including Council President Mary Sheffield who has been a strong supporter of GDYT and other programs that deliver opportunities for Detroit youth.

“Access to opportunity and exposure is critical to the development of our youth and positively impacts their trajectory in life” said Council President Sheffield. “Since its inception, GDYT has served this purpose for thousands of Detroit's youth. By allowing young Detroiters to explore various career fields and refine their skills, GDYT has been a game changer in our communities and Detroit families alike. We owe a debt of gratitude to the dozens of companies and organizations that have made a conscious effort to partner with Detroit to invest in over 8,000 young people and create a brighter future for the students and our City.”

Grow Detroit’s Young Talent was launched by Mayor Duggan in 2015, since which time it has been managed by the City of Detroit’s workforce agency, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation. Unlike in many cities, the program has continued at full capacity every summer despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The target budget for GDYT this year is $13.8M, a portion of which will come from more than $12M 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.”

In addition to being today’s event host, DTE has been a multi-year GDYT 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, 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.”

While GDYT receives support from a large number of both big and small companies in the Detroit metro area, the program is also supported by major national corporations such as JPMorgan Chase, which has actively supported both youth and adult programs in Detroit.

“Detroit’s revitalization starts by ensuring our youth are set up for career success and mobility,” said Byna Elliott, global head of Advancing Black Pathways at JPMorgan Chase and GDYT board member. “We’re proud of our decade-long investment in Detroit and strong partnerships, like Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, who help more youth access summer jobs and build the skills, confidence, and expertise they need for the future.”

A key multi-year supporter of GDYT in the Metro Detroit area is the Skillman Foundation, which has historically been one of the most engaged in supporting the goals of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent and in advocating for youth opportunities in general.

"Job experiences are a rite of passage for teenagers and young adults, expanding life's possibilities while preparing them for success in the world of work. Grow Detroit's Young Talent is an important component to ensure employment opportunities are provided to Detroit youth, and specifically, to Black youth. It's fueling our city's economic engine by making opportunity accessible and equitable," said Terry Whitfield, Policy & Systems Partnership Manager for The Skillman Foundation.

While the target for total GDYT enrollments for 2023 will remain at 8,000, the program will introduce new enhancements for the 2023 program year, including:

  • Continuing to further embed conflict resolution and problem solving into the program.
  • Incorporating additional Financial Literacy training into GDYT to help youth better prepare for the future. Youth will gain an understanding of financial literacy concepts in order to properly manage their money even in a tough economy.
  • Including additional Consumer Education to assist young adults who utilize social media in correctly identifying issues that concern the public as well as how to protect themselves.
  • Expanding efforts to service youth with disabilities by partnering with additional agencies/resources.

How to get involved Starting today, 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.

There are several ways to partner with GDYT:

  • Become a Funding Partner by making a financial contribution to the GDYT program to support summer work experiences for Detroit youth.
  • Become an Employer Partner by providing a job at your designated worksite and sponsoring a six-week paid work experience (120 hours).
  • Be recognized as an Affiliate Partner by directly hiring youth through an existing summer program that you operate.
  • Volunteer to support key program components (i.e. career fairs, work-readiness training, etc.)
  • Explore options to provide year-round and/or permanent employment opportunities to Detroit youth.

Process for Successful Youth Applicants After an individual expresses interest in a summer work experience through, the applicant will be randomly selected through a lottery system. Selected youth must complete all enrollment forms and upload the required documents into the CareerEdge portal. All properly registered GDYT youth will receive a minimum 12 hours of work-readiness pre-training prior to the start of their summer employment. During May and June, select partners will have the opportunity to interview youth candidates at a GDYT-sponsored career fair for Career Pathways Internships, Industry-Led Training, and Pre-Apprenticeships, or through a virtual Career Fair. Successful GDYT-registered youth will also attend a Youth Orientation where they will receive additional materials regarding timekeeping, benchmark achievements, and the GDYT Handbook. For more information about the youth applicant process, refer to GDYT’s Roadmap to Success at