Mayor Mike Duggan launches Grow Detroit’s Young Talent 2020 summer work experience for over 8,000 Detroit youth

GDYT interns
  • Program meets goal in spite of COVID-19
  • 80% of experiences are completely online to maintain social distancing


Mayor Mike Duggan today announced the launch of this year’s summer jobs program for over 8,000 Detroit youth. 2020 is the sixth year of the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program, but the first in which the overwhelming majority of positions are virtual.

The Mayor made the announcement at today’s press briefing, noting that this year sees the 46,000th summer job experience provided since launching the program in 2015.

“A lot of cities around the U.S. have either had to scale back their summer youth programs, or even cancel them entirely due to Coronavirus” said Mayor Duggan. ”We never considered that option for a moment. We are always grateful to our partners but particularly so this year. Pivoting to an entirely new program at scale in only three months is a remarkable achievement and shows not only the level of commitment to our youth we have in this city, but also the strength of the partnerships we have built.”

GDYT this year will offer a range of career experience opportunities for the city’s youth. 1,600 older youth will have in-person work experiences with employers in fields such as masonry, supply-chain management, retail, healthcare and hospitality. The remaining 6,400 will have virtual experiences utilizing a variety of platforms allowing youth to immerse themselves in specific career pathways virtually, with many getting online with a FREE laptop or tablet, internet access and tech support.

“GDYT 2020 will leverage two online job training platforms” said Marie Hocker, Executive Director of GDYT. "One provides interactive day-in-the-life career exploration, and another is a digital instructor-led platform customized with simulated work experiences in manufacturing, IT, customer service, healthcare and construction. Youth will engage directly with employers in virtual meetings and workshops.”

To enable the digital program component, roughly 40% of youth participating in the virtual programs will receive a digital device and connectivity through Detroit Public Schools Community District’s ‘Connected Futures’ initiative.

The remaining 60% will receive a device and connectivity through the contributions of sponsors, including Bank of America, Skillman Foundation, Quicken Loans Community Fund & Rock Family of Companies through the Connect 313 partnership, The Valade Family, and the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency.

GDYT youth will complete a total of 120 hours, earning a stipend of up to $1,200. Activities start this week and will run until late August.


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-profits 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.

DESC is the lead agency for GDYT. Connect Detroit is DESC’s contracted program implementation leader working with key community-based organizations, municipal departments and Jr. Police & Fire Cadet Program. For more information, visit


Media Contact
Robin Johnston, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation
[email protected]
(248) 720-8888