DETROIT (WXYZ) — Whether you’re a 14-year-old with little-to-no work experience or an older teen or twenty-something with some vocational training under your belt, finding a good-paying summer job can be tough! But if you live in the city of Detroit, there’s an opportunity that could be a life-changer for you.
It’s called Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, and the deadline to apply is fast approaching!
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan launched the summer jobs program back in 2015. In the last six years, the program has served over 50,000 young people from Detroit.
Applications are currently being accepted for this seventh year – the second summer during this pandemic.
“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 in a February statement when he kicked off this year’s campaign to provide summer work experiences for the city’s youth.
But the deadline to apply is May first – only four weeks away!
GROW DETROIT’S YOUNG TALENT:
- The City of Detroit’s summer jobs program launched in 2015
- 50,000 youth have participated
- Applications are being accepted now
- Deadline to apply is May 1, 2021
Lazae Mosley is learning new skills both on the court and off.
The 19-year-old is a freshman at Schoolcraft College where she plays on the women’s basketball team and is studying graphic arts.
She’s taking a shot at other opportunities as well.
“I could see myself actually being a construction worker one day,” said Mosley.
“When I got onto the site for GDYT, it actually taught me how to use excavators and like other things like that -- more higher up technology that you wouldn’t like give a kid at school,” Mosley explained.
After the experience, she was even offered a job by the bricklayers’ apprenticeship. She turned it down because she got offered a scholarship to play ball.
But she’s coming back for more construction experience in the GDYT program this summer because she learned so much last year – skills like laying tile and operating lifts and cranes.
“I got on the biggest [crane]. I don’t really like heights, so I was kind of scared. But it was like a great experience for me because it’s like I can overcome my fears and do what I love to do at the same time,” said Mosley smiling.
“We have the talent here in the city of Detroit. And our young people want to work,” said Marie Hocker, the executive director of Grow Detroit's Young Talent.
Hocker said the program typically gets 15,000-to-16,000 applications every year.
Last year, 8,006 youth participated -- even in the face of a pandemic!
It was a hybrid model with employer partners offering virtual experiences for most of the youth and socially distant in-person experiences for about 50 of them.
What’s new this year?
Hocker said the program is being enhanced with pre-apprenticeship programs in carpentry, masonry work, and in renewable energy jobs -- all of which will lead to federal registered apprenticeship programs post-GDYT.
And the money’s not bad.
“For our pre-apprenticeship programs, we’re paying our young people 13-dollars-an-hour. 13-dollars an hour. So, when they complete GDYT and they enroll then into the apprenticeship program with the employer, they’re going to make $22 per hour coming right out of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent,” Hocker explained.
GDYT is an $11.3 million program covering the young people’s wages, readiness training, transportation to and from the work sites, and more.
The city of Detroit handles part of the budget. Local foundations, individuals, and employment partners fund the rest.
TO QUALIFY FOR A GDYT SUMMER WORK EXPERIENCE, YOU MUST:
- LIVE IN THE CITY OF DETROIT
- BE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 14-24
- BE ELIGIBLE TO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES.
The program is accepting applicants on a rolling basis.
You should hear if you’ve been accepted within a couple of weeks.
“It’s a great opportunity because it’s not like a regular job; it’s a paid learning experience. You’re getting paid to learn new things," said Mosley. "I don’t think you can’t beat that!”
For any of you kids who apply but don’t get accepted, get this --> You’ll still be granted access to the program’s new CareerEdge system – which offers interactive training videos and quizzes to help prepare you for the workforce.
The program is also still looking for employer partners and volunteer mentors.
But most importantly, they’re looking for interested youth who want to make some cash and learn some new skills this summer.