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$500K Skillman grant will help connect 5,000 Detroit kids with summer jobs

Osborn High students working in a greenhouse

The Skillman Foundation is giving $500,000 toward helping put 5,000 young Detroiters to work this summer.

The Riverfront-based foundation’s money will go toward further developing the Grow Detroit's Young Talent youth employment initiative. The funds will be split into two grants: $400,000 will go toward the downtown-based nonprofit City Connect Detroit to administer the Grow Detroit's Young Talent program. The remaining $100,000 goes to the Philadelphia Youth Network, which is providing a state-of-the-art employment portal for Grow Young Detroit Talent.

"It's a tremendous help," says Shuna Hayward, program director of City Connect Detroit. "The portal has been one of the big missing links."

Grow Young Detroit Talent is a collaboration between local employers and the city of Detroit, led by Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration. It aims to connect 5,000 14-to-24-year-olds with jobs this summer. The Philadelphia Youth Network is supposed to help streamline that process by enabling both employers and young people to sign up for the program and connect the best candidates for the right jobs.

Last year, private and public efforts were able to pair 3,600 young people with jobs in the city. Among the major companies participating this year are DTE Energy, Quicken Loans, and CVS. The jobs ranged from manual labor positions to office internships.

"We try to match it with where the young people are developmentally," Hayward says.

Source: Shuna Hayward, senior program director for City Connect Detroit
Writer: Jon Zemke

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