News from the City Government


Mayor Kicks Off 2017 Grow Detroit's Young Talent Enrollment

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  • Summer jobs program aims to employ 8000 Youth Ages 14 -24
  • GDYT 2017 to include opportunities to earn industry-recognized certifications and expanded vocational training
  • Applicants and employers can sign up at www.GDYT.org

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan today officially launched the enrollment period for his summer youth employment program, Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, which is now open at www.GDYT.org   In doing so, the Mayor also renewed his challenge to area businesses and foundations to provide 8,000 jobs this summer for Detroit youths ages 14-24.

The Mayor kicked off this year’s campaign during a breakfast at the headquarters of DTE Energy, which hosted the event and has been a major program sponsor since its inception.   The Mayor also acknowledged the City’s key partners – Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and City Connect Detroit.

In addition to announcing the opening of enrollment for both employers and youths, Mayor Duggan also outlined several ways GDYT is being enhanced this year to provide a wider range of career readiness and pathways including:

  • Expanded vocational training
  • Opportunities to earn industry recognized training certifications
  • Career-pathway internships for second- and third-year GDYT youth ages 16 and older.

“GDYT is all about preparing our young Detroiters for their first jobs and ultimately their careers,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Youth participating in this year’s program will have more opportunity than ever to receive the kind of training and experience that could make them immediately employable.”  

The Mayor launched GDYT in 2015 to be a central coordinator, fundraiser and marketer for all local businesses that want to provide summer youth employment opportunities for youth ages 14-24.  In the program’s first year 5,600 youth were employed through GDYT.  In 2016, that number rose to 8,100.  Prior to GDYT, approximately 2,500 Detroit youth would have summer jobs each year through a series of smaller independent programs. 


Grow Detroit’s Young Talent 2017 – 2



In 2016, GDYT youth had experiences at over 600 worksites, including 230 employers.   This year’s fundraising goal is $10.8 million, up slightly from $10.6 million last year.


“DTE Energy and our Foundation have provided more than 2,000 summer jobs for young Detroiters in recent years, and we are committed to expanding these opportunities and making them even more valuable,” said Gerry Anderson, chairman and CEO, DTE Energy.  “I encourage other business leaders to join us in supporting Grow Detroit’s Young Talent – it’s a great way to participate in Detroit’s resurgence.”

New in 2017: Industry recognized certifications, career pathway internships

Each year, GDYT has grown and added new opportunities.  This year, the program will offer vocational training for 550 participants (up from just over 400 last year).  Youth enrolled in the training component will participate in 120 hours of vocational training over six (6) weeks just as those matched to work experiences.  

Many of these students will be able to earn industry-recognized certifications that would allow them to step directly into fulltime employment.For certifications that require more training than the six weeks of GDYT, the City has partnered with several providers that will credit the GDYT youth with six weeks toward certification in their program, also helping to make these youth employment-ready.


GDYT youth, who have work experiences this year that do not offer certifications, will be able to earn skills badges they can produce for prospective employers as proof of their abilities in various areas, including financial literacy, completion of vocational skills training and soft skills training, such as attendance and conflict resolution. 

Career Pathway internships

In addition to the 550 that will receive vocational training, another 550 GDYT youth ages 16 and older who have participated in GDYT before will be placed into career-pathway internships with some of the program’s larger employers.  These are the partners that offer more technical and professional opportunities.  

How to get involved

Starting today, Detroit youth interested in a summer job should apply at www.GDYT.org.  Businesses interested in providing summer work experiences for Detroit youth also can register at the GDYT Web site.

Process for Successful Applicants

After an individual applies through GDYT.org, the applicant will be screened.  During May and June, employers will have the opportunity to interview candidates at GDYT-sponsored career fairs. Otherwise, youth applicants will be selected based upon both employer request and a random selection process among the applicants. 


Grow Detroit’s Young Talent 2017 – 3


Orientation sessions preparing successful GDYT applicants for the workplace will take place and include 12 hours of work readiness training at a worksite.


2017 Program Timeline

February 8       Application Process Begins at www.GDYT.org
March 31         Application Process Ends
April                Applicants Contacted, Start of Employer Match and Interview Process
May – June      Job Readiness Training and Orientation Sessions
Early July         Work Experience Begins


Among last year’s major GDYT sponsors were:

  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • City of Detroit
  • Community Foundation for SE Michigan
  • Crain’s Communications
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority
  • DTE Energy
  • Employer Partners Matching Funds
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Ford Motor Co. Fund
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • Kresge Foundation
  • MGM Grand
  • Mrs. Marjorie S. Fisher Fund
  • Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation
  • Skillman Foundation
  • Strategic Staffing Solutions
  • Talmer Bank
  • United States Department of Labor
  • United Way for Southeastern Michigan
  • WK Kellogg Foundation
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