- The Grow Detroit's Young Talent (GDYT) program is providing 8,281 young Detroit residents with work experience this summer, reported the Detroit Free Press. Founded five years ago by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and other city officials, the program was developed to start the city's youth on early career paths and encourage them to pursue future jobs in their hometown, the Free Press reported.
- "We started with 2,000 in 2014, then went to 4,000, now 8,000 young people with the support of our very generous partners," Duggan said in a press conference the day of the program's seasonal launch, reported the Free Press. "And now you've got people, three, four, five years, they come back, they're in college, they're in their jobs, and this is what we're trying to do."
- The jobs program is based on a three-tier system, according to the program's website. The first tier, Career Exploration, introduces young individuals, typically 14 to 16 years old, with no work experience to first-time job and career opportunities, such as team projects, community service and job shadowing. Ready for Work, the second tier, places 16- to 24-year-old candidates with some work experience in a vocational program or with a host company to build work-readiness skills. The third tier, the Career Pathways Internship, is for 17 to 24-year-old individuals with work experience who are focused on a career path with a host employer.
Detroit is not the only city whose employers have come together to address talent shortage. Employers in Kansas City launched a recruitment initiative, TeamKC, that has held two annual summits on talent strategy, the more recent of which was attended by more than 500 employers.
Detroit's strategy takes a more active approach, providing job experience for local youths with the express purpose of equipping them to come back and fill available jobs. Companies that act as host employers in programs like GDYT may help secure themselves a talent pipeline, a valuable asset in a job market in which unemployment has hit a 50-year low.
Programs like GDYT can be models for officials in other major cities to help reduce unemployment among their youth, especially in growth sectors like tech, while preparing them for careers and for companies to expand their talent pools in a tight labor market.