DETROIT — The DTE Energy Foundation this week announced plans to partner with the city of Detroit and other agencies to fund up to 600 summer and year-round jobs for youth.

The Foundation’s expanded Youth Employment Initiative includes a $1-million commitment to support city of Detroit recreation centers over the next four years.  The summer and year-round jobs are filled and will begin in early July.

“Young talent will drive Michigan’s growth,” said Joyce Hayes Giles, assistant to the chairman and senior vice president of Public Affairs for DTE Energy, and chair of the DTE Energy Foundation.   “We want to make sure that when these young people are ready to enter the work force, they have the experience necessary to get – and keep – a job,”  said Giles, adding that the jobs help tackle the problem of high youth unemployment in Detroit and other struggling communities.

At the announcement Giles was joined by Alicia Minter, director of the Detroit Recreation Department; Dierk Hall, president and CEO of City Connect Detroit, Pamela Moore, president and CEO of Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC); Rebecca Salminen Witt, president of Greening of Detroit, and participating teens and young adults.

The Foundation’s Youth Employment Initiative consists of three components.  New this year, the Foundation is partnering with the city of Detroit to provide up to 100 year-round, part-time jobs at city of Detroit recreation centers.  The foundation will provide $250,000 per year, for four years, to the DESC to manage the program.

“Our $1-million commitment is part of a public-private partnership to support the city’s recreation centers and the families that they serve,” Giles said.  “The program is significant because it provides young people from struggling neighborhoods with jobs as well as mentoring, tutoring and other support services to help them succeed.”

In addition to the recreation center jobs, the foundation will once again provide $750,000 to fund nearly 500 summer jobs in Detroit and also in Highland Park, Inkster, Muskegon, Pontiac and Ypsilanti.  The grant supports the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program run by City Connect Detroit, and also funds a similar program in Muskegon.

The foundation worked with about 30 community partners to place teens and young adults in meaningful jobs at their agencies.  The summer jobs program runs for six weeks.

The third part of the Youth Employment Initiative is a new partnership with the Greening of Detroit.  The Foundation made a smaller grant to the Greening of Detroit to hire 20 young people to plant trees in city neighborhoods.

“Summer and part-time jobs also help to deter crime by keeping young people productive and focused during the idle summer months,”  Giles said.

For further information about Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program, visit City Connect Detroit at


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