Detroit kicks off annual summer jobs program, Grow Detroit's Young Talent 2017

Mayor Mike Duggan has launched Detroit's annual effort to find summer jobs for teens and young adults.

Duggan discussed the Grow Detroit's Young Talent 2017 enrollment campaign Wednesday morning at DTE Energy Headquarters in Detroit.

The program asks for support from companies and foundations to help create employment for 8,000 Detroit residents between 14 and 24 years of age.This year, it will provide opportunities for youth to receive industry-recognized certifications and expanded vocational training.

Last year's goal also was 8,000 jobs. About 5,600 jobs were provided in 2015.

Deana Gardner, a 16-year-old sophomore at Cass Tech High School, has taken advantage of the job training program for the past two years and it's truly transformed her life.

"During the summer I would always sit down and watch TV all the time and I was very antisocial. When I got into the program, it really opened me up," she says. She emceed the kick-off event on Wednesday.

Duggan, who reminscined about his first job on a Southfield garbage truck, couldn't be prouder of the effort's impact.

"There's going to be 300 to 400 companies to choose from. You are going to have options, from police and fire to sports teams to medical facilities. There will be a whole range of options for our young people," he promised.

Grow Detroit's Youth Talent is a 6 week summer employment program that gives teens the training and experience they need to secure a job in their twenties. Statistics show right now that is where Detroit is lacking. Anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of people in their twenties are not working, and had no meaningful opportunity in their youth to prepare them for work. This program is hoping to change that.

For more information or to enroll, visit