United Way and Grow Detroit’s Young Talent prepare youth for careers of tomorrow with third annual summer employment fair

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Upwards of 800 Detroit youth to land summer employment and training opportunities during the third annual Summer Career Connections Fair, presented by United Way for Southeastern Michigan in partnership with Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) and Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT). Students from Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) and GDYT will engage with representatives from colleges and universities and upwards of 60 employers to earn six weeks of pay and on-the-job training over the summer. The Summer Career Connections Fair presented by United Way for Southeastern Michigan takes place from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, May 17, 2019 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

At the Summer Connections Fair, students will choose from four distinct programming tracks tailored to support their needs as follows:

  • Ready to Work – Young people to interview with employers for the possibility of securing on-the-spot summer job offers.
  • Ready to Explore – Opportunities for young people to take advantage of postsecondary camps and/or training over the summer.
  • Ready to Develop – Young people to gain access to resources to prepare them for future employment, i.e. resume building and mock interview opportunities.
  • Ready to Graduate – High schools seniors to connect with mentors and resource partner agencies (i.e. Detroit Promise, City Year Detroit and Public Allies Metro Detroit) to help them navigate life after graduation.

“We feel strongly that the Summer Career Connections Fair offers Detroit students the chance to earn something beyond a paycheck,” said Terry Rhadigan, executive director, corporate giving at General Motors. “This partnership between United Way, DESC, GDYT and DPSCD is helping build a foundation of success for high schoolers. When it’s time for graduation, they’ll be better equipped with the hard and soft skills needed to enter the long-term job market or succeed in college.”

“Linking young people to productive summer opportunities is critically important work. More than just a summer job experience, these employer interactions could influence a child’s career trajectory and ultimate preparedness for life as independent adults,” says Dr. Darienne Driver Hudson, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “This annual event brings together an array of partners to strengthen youths’ connections to college and career pathways toward advancing their future success.”

In addition to interviewing and workshop sessions, Summer Career Connections participants will leave with a variety of skills from learning how to manage their own brand to setting goals in preparation for graduation. DESC will further support Summer Career Connections Fair in a variety of ways after the event. They will work with young people securing internships and help ensure a smooth transition for students and employers with management of both pre- and post-job-related services. Youth securing summer opportunities are expected to begin in early July through the end of August toward 120 hours of paid employment or training.

Key United Way partners in the Summer Career Connections Fair with GDYT and DESC include Detroit College Access Network; Detroit Public Schools Community District Career Counseling for Postsecondary Success Team; Wayne RESA Ready to Launch; the Mayor Duggan’s Workforce Development Team;and DTE, asthe largest provider of summer youth employment for the city’s GDYT program. United Way’s College and Career Pathway’s work is funded by General Motors, McGregor Foundation and Skillman Foundation.

For more information about United Way for Southeastern Michigan, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.

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