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Challenge Detroit begins recruitment of second fellowship class

The folks behind Challenge Detroit are looking to build on the talent attraction/retention initiative's initial success by repeating it this year.

Challenge Detroit brings in a couple dozen recent college graduates to Detroit each year, giving them jobs and coordinating opportunities for them to live, work and play in the city. The nonprofit pairs the fellows from each class with local employers and provides them with a living stipend. Last year it welcomed 29 fellows that work for the likes of Compuware and Quicken Loans. This year it plans to bring in another 30 young people as part of its second class.

"It's a manageable number for us," says Deirdre Greene Groves, executive director of Challenge Detroit. "It's a number that allows a greater sense of comradery in the group. They can still get to know each other."

Challenge Detroit is part of a growing number of talent initiatives that looks to bring more recent college graduates to Detroit by matching them with jobs. Organizations like Teach for America and Venture for America pair dozens of young people with positions in local schools and startups, respectively.

Challenge Detroit pairs these graduates with jobs at a number of larger corporations, nonprofits and institutions, providing them with a living stipend of $500 per month. It asks in return that the participants live, play and volunteer in the city. This year, Challenge Detroit is working to make sure its participants more fully capitalize on its experiences.

"We want to make sure we are giving a great benefit to our partners," Greene Groves says. "How can we spend a couple more weeks on them?"

Challenge Detroit is currently accepting applications for its 2012-13 class, which are due by March 3. For information, click here.

Source: Deirdre Greene Groves, executive director of Challenge Detroit
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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