Grow Detroit's Young Talent program trains city's youth

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One of the biggest things keeping companies from Detroit is a future talent pool -- but that's changing thanks to a summer jobs program that has one goal in mind: To train young Detroiters for the future, helping them and helping the city.
Grow Detroit's Young Talent is working so well it's taking in thousands of teens this summer to help get them ready for work. 

For example, Love Life Swagger hung up the hiring sign and got what they needed thanks to the program.

"It is directly helping the youth learn about businesses, learn about responsibilities, banking, things of that sort," said owner Trellis Mercer. "And me being from the city, living in Detroit, and taking someone out of adulthood to really get them to where they can get to right now, that road of success could be a lot shorter for these youth."

The shop, which was established thanks to the Motor City Match program, is giving back by hiring out of a pool of Detroiters that truly is the future -- 14-24 year olds across Detroit are finding summer work. 

Former Lions star Herman Moore's organization is taking part in the Grow Detroit's Young Talent. Young people are getting jobs based on what they're already interested in. 

"We are teaching them more about how they can take just a thing as simple as a cell phone and be able to take pictures with that and when you post it on social media, instead of just posting pictures, you can get analytics off of that, and you can start to understand how to do hashtags -- companies are paying for that skillset," Moore said.

And now a record number of young people are enrolled. More than 8,000 teens and men and women in their 20's are being hired up by companies. If a company can't afford to pay the kids, the city helps. 

"We offer to pay half of the salary for the summer if they can't afford to do it," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "And I just say to every company I meet, just take one kid and anybody who does it, they get so much more out of that. They come back the next year with two kids and then four kids and it's grown at rates we couldn't have believed."

The program keeps getting bigger. Already more than $11 million have been pumped into the programs, growing it year after year.  Four years later, the pride that young people have can be seen on their sleeves cashing it in for a bright summer. 

There are more than 500 job sites ready to host. For more info on how you can hire, visit